Bankrate's monthly telephone survey measures how secure Americans feel about their personal finances compared to 12 months ago. Consumers responded during the three-day period from Oct. 3 - 6, and those responses indicate more cautious sentiment about spending as the holiday season approaches.
Sentiment slid 2.1 points from the September reading, but the survey was done before Congress reached a deal to extend the federal budget and debt ceiling expansion until January.
• Some 81% of parents with kids under 18 say they have reasons to limit their spending, versus 68% of people who don't have kids younger than 18.
• There were no major differences in how people of different income classes answered this question.
• 34% of people 65 and older say they have no reason to limit their spending, compared to 26% of those who are younger.
• Job fears are what's most holding down spending for 10% of respondents earning $75,000 a year or more, compared to just 4% of respondents making less than $30,000.
• Some 17% of people in the Northeast and 12% of Midwesterners say too much debt is the reason they don't spend more, while just 9% of Southerners and 8% of people in Western states take that position.
• About 37% of adults younger than 30 say they don't spend more because they need to save more, while just 16% of those approaching retirement age are in that camp.
• Nearly 1 in 3 women says she feels less job security today versus 12 months ago.
• Some 14% of respondents said they are feeling more secure about their jobs and 26% feeling less secure.
• About 35% of Northeasterners, 26% of Westerners, 25% of Southerners, and 20% of Midwesterners say their jobs are less secure.
• Some 34% of college grads say they're better off today, compared to 25% of people with some college education and 17% without any.
• About 33% of people making at least $50,000 per year say they're doing better today, versus 16% of those making less than that.
• Roughly 30% of urbanites say they're more well-off today, versus 23% of suburbanites and 16% of rural respondents who describe themselves that way.