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Full Debt DNA Survey Results

This survey was commissioned by the national nonprofit credit counseling agency, CESI Debt Solutions in January 2011. Respondents had no affiliation with CESI and were recruited online by a third party research company.

Do you keep/maintain a regular savings plan, putting money away in a savings account frequently?

Answer Percentage
Yes 46.50%
No 41.35%
No answer 12.15%
Not completed or not displayed 0.00%

If yes, how much do you save?

Answer Percentage
1% of paycheck 10.31%
5% of paycheck 11.29%
10% of paycheck 8.96%
More than 10% of paycheck 8.22%
No answer 7.73%
Not completed or not displayed 53.50%

What made you decide to start a regular savings plan?

Answer Percentage
Parents taught me to save something every paycheck, and I’ve kept it up. 15.71%
I learned from experience (not my parents) to save money. 18.04%
Scared and/or affected by the recession, I thought it was a good idea. 4.91%
Saving for a specific reason: new car, remodeling, emergency, etc. 5.64%
No answer 2.21%
Not completed or not displayed 53.50%

When you save, what are you saving for? (Check as many as apply)

Answer Percentage
Retirement 17.91%
A big purchase 10.67%
A rainy day/emergency fund 24.91%
College 3.56%
I save a little money for each of these every paycheck 10.06%
Comfort of knowing I have savings. 21.10%

How would you define your spending habits?

Answer Percent
Thrifty, make do without something 20.25%
Careful spender: search for best deal, buy lowest cost item that will meet the need. 50.43%
Buy it now on credit, pay for it later. 5.64%
Only buy when I have saved enough to pay for it. 13.25%
Cost isn’t an option, get the best. 2.21%
No answer 8.22%
Not completed or not displayed 0.00%

How many credit cards do you currently have?

Answer Percentage
1 26.26%
2 19.14%
3 11.66%
4 or more 15.09%
No answer 27.85%
Not completed or not displayed 0.00%

How much credit card debt do you currently owe?

Answer Percentage
None 41.72%
$1-$499 11.04%
$500-$2,499 11.66%
$2,500-$4,999 7.73%
$5,000-$9,999 5.64%
$10,000-$14,999 4.42%
$15,000 or more 5.52%
No answer 12.27%
Not completed or not displayed 0.00%

How often do you currently use credit cards?

Answer Percentage
Daily 6.13%
Several times per week 15.46%
A few times per month 27.61%
A few times per year 20.49
Never 21.60%
No answer 8.71%
Not completed or not displayed 0.00%

Do you set a regular budget and stick to it?

Answer Percentage
Yes 50.55%
No 40.98%
No answer 8.47%
Not completed or not displayed 0.00%

How old are you?

Answer Percentage
Under 18 0.37%
18-24 9.20%
25-34 15.71%
35-49 18.77%
50-65 31.90%
65+ 18.77%
No answer 4.29%
Not completed or not displayed 0.98%

What is your gender?

Answer Percentage
Female 38.40%
Male 56.56%
No answer 4.05%
Not completed or not displayed 0.98%

Did your parents live through the “Great Depression” in the United States?

Answer Percentage
Yes 50.92%
No 39.51%
No answer 8.59%
Not completed or not displayed 0.98%

Did your parent(s) say your family couldn’t afford something because of money issues?

Answer Percentage
Frequently 29.33%
Sometimes 44.05%
Rarely 15.21%
Never 3.07%
No answer 7.36%
Not completed or not displayed 0.98%

Which of the following is true of your childhood? Check all that apply.

Answer Percentage
Money was tight, but we didn’t talk about it. 57.91%
Money was tight, and it was talked about a lot. 20.49%
Money was never an issue. 19.02%

Did your parents teach you about saving, investments, etc.

Answer Percentage
My parent(s) were frugal. 20.86%
My parent(s) didn’t discuss money issues much. 35.21%
My parent(s) taught me how to save money. 28.71%
My parent(s) liked to spend money. 2.94%
My parent(s) let me spend money however I wanted. 0.74%
My parent(s) often bought me whatever I wanted growing up. 2.94%
No answer 7.61%
Not completed or not displayed 0.98%

Did you have an allowance growing up?

Answer Percentage
Yes 47.12%
No 46.63%
No answer 5.28%
Not completed or not displayed 0.98%

Were you required to save part of that allowance?

Answer Percentage
Yes 13.50%
No 32.15%
No answer 1.47%
Not completed or not displayed 52.88%

Do you agree with this statement about your childhood: When we wanted something, we got it.

Answer Percentage
Yes 16.56%
No 75.46%
No answer 6.99%
Not completed or not displayed 0.98%

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