With interest rate hikes and the increased cost of living, Americans are more concerned about saving money in 2023. New research indicates citizens are searching for monthly savings tips, and the public is taking steps to squirrel away cash to weather the financial storm.
In anticipation of the September 20 rate announcement from the Federal Reserve, Chair Jerome Powell shared his thoughts, “We are prepared to raise rates further if appropriate and intend to hold policy at a restrictive level until we are confident that inflation is moving sustainably down toward our objective.”
News outlet Mama Say What?! assessed the impacts of rate increases to date by conducting a study analyzing where Americans are searching for answers to their savings questions. By comparing the states searching for savings-related keywords and phrases in Google, the team at Mama Say What?! ranked regions with greatest to least concern.
Which states are seeing surges? Where else in the country has the cost of living crisis created high levels of worry?
States Concerned With Saving Money This Summer
Oregon stands out among American states, ranking first for the highest numbers of money-saving queries in the period between July 26 and August 26, 2023. The Beaver State demonstrates a healthy gap between itself and the second-place state of South Carolina with a 13% reduction in volume.
The surge in search volume is new for Oregon, as the state also shows a more significant increase in concern than any other state when comparing 30-day and 12-month data.
Following Oregon and South Carolina are the states of Nebraska, Georgia, and Louisiana, which placed third, fourth, and fifth, respectively.
A notable gap in overall search volume suggests a sizable difference in the financial strain on the various states between the top five and top ten ranking states. Where the top five are searching for savings at a high level, the remaining top ten states of North Carolina, New Jersey, Tennessee, New York, and Ohio are taking to Google at a comparatively moderate rate.
Saving Money in The Last 12 Months
Looking at search volumes over the last year allows for a line of sight on which states have sustained interest in saving money and where folks are most affected by long-term shifts in the cost of living.
New York ranks first on the top 10 list of states searching for money-saving related terms in the last 12 months.
Following New York, Virginia takes second place. Third is Ohio, while fourth and fifth place go to Michigan and North Carolina, respectively.
Kentucky earns sixth place. The remaining slots go to Illinois in seventh place, Florida in eighth place, Massachusetts close behind in ninth place, and Indiana in tenth place.
What The Data Indicates
The data trends reveal valuable information about the states most affected by the cost of living increase.
The most notable indicators are the recent, substantial spikes in Oregon and South Carolina search volumes. These two states appear at the top of the 30-day list but are not on the 12-month list. With such a dramatic rise, it’s clear that a change over the summer has residents concerned about their finances.
Conversely, while Virginia, Michigan, and Kentucky all appear on the 12-month list, they do not appear on the 30-day list, demonstrating a reduced interest in saving money and a more positive recent financial overall outlook for residents of these states.
New York placed prominently on both lists, meaning residents of this state are looking for diverse ways to save money at a sustained interest rate.
Money Saving Strategies
In the battle against inflation and rising rates, it’s evident that financial strategies, including earning more money, reducing expenses, and saving current income, are at the forefront of Americans’ minds.
While many savings strategies are touted online, Americans looking to stretch their dollars might consider the following:
- Creating a solid budget: Credit Karma recommends that 50% of income be allocated to essentials, 30% to extras, and 20% to debt repayment and savings
- Auditing subscriptions to determine what can be negotiated or canceled
- Grocery planning to avoid impulse purchases at the supermarket
- Choosing public transportation or carpooling to reduce transportation costs
- Bringing in extra cash using apps, getting gig work, or taking up a secondary job.
The experts at Credit Karma also recommend that people use coupons whenever they can, take advantage of seasonal sales, switch to a cheaper cell phone plan, look at ways to lower utility bills, designate no-spend days, track spending, automate savings transfers, use a high-yield savings account and build an emergency fund.
Professional and personal circumstances will dictate which savings strategies work best to support individual needs, and no one approach will suit all Americans. One thing is certain: as Americans brace for the next Fed announcement, ways to save and earn more money will continue to populate search bars nationwide.