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First National Bank of Omaha Releases Data from 2019 'Savings' Survey

FNBO Savings infographic, 63% of Americans do not set annual savings goals, 53% are currently living paycheck to paycheck and 40% prioritize savings for their emergency fund

Press Release

Contact: Kevin Langin, 402-602-3541
Release Date: February 25, 2019

Study: 63% Of Americans Do Not Set Annual Savings Goals

- First National Bank of Omaha Releases Data From 2019 ‘Savings' Survey -

OMAHA, Neb. Feb. 25, 2019 - In recognition of the start of America Saves Week, which takes place through March 2, First National Bank of Omaha today released the results of its 2019 Savings Survey. The survey examined Americans’ habits, behaviors and priorities when it comes to saving—covering an array of topics from goal setting to monthly spending to retirement planning.

The survey found that 63% of Americans do not set annual savings goals. In addition, 53% say they are currently living paycheck to paycheck.

“With debt and living expenses on the rise in much of the country, the importance of setting financial goals—and sticking to them—has never been greater,” said Jerry J. O’Flanagan, Executive Vice President, Consumer Banking, First National Bank of Omaha. “The hardest part of saving? Getting started. However, once a savings plan is in place, the key is to regularly reevaluate and readjust your savings efforts for maximum impact.”

Among the survey’s additional findings:

  • 74% of Americans put 10% or less of their monthly paycheck towards savings, while 23% report they put in 0%.
  • 60% report they are somewhat or very likely to be on track with their savings to retire by age 65.
  • 49% report they only have enough liquid funds to cover living expenses for 0-3 months.
  • 40% of Americans prioritize their savings at the moment for their emergency fund, while 27% report their highest priority for their savings is retirement.
  • 39% of Americans plan on spending this year’s tax refund by putting it in savings.
  • 26% attribute high costs of living as to why they don’t have as much in savings as they would like, 13% attribute it to credit card debt, and another 13% attribute the reason to educational debt.
  • 25% of Americans have never had to withdraw from their savings account; 24% do so once a month, and 21% only do so once a year.

Additional data from the survey results is available upon request.


The study was conducted online using Survey Monkey. One thousand participants were polled, spanning across the United States. The demographic of those polled represented a broad range in generation, geographic location, and gender.