Get free help preparing your taxes from AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. Find a location


You Could Choose Your Dream Vacation

Contests and

AARP’s Superstar
2015 Contest

Sing for a chance to win $5,000! Enter AARP’s Superstar 2015 Contest!
See official rules.

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

AARP Books

Visit the Money Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.

Jobs You Might Like

most popular


AARP Bulletin Survey on Spending: Executive Summary

The AARP Bulletin commissioned a nationwide survey in June 2011 to find out how often consumers have trouble limiting their spending or spending their money.   The survey also includes questions on how consumers might label themselves – either as a “tightwad” or “spendthrift.”    

Survey findings indicate that about two in five respondents report having some difficulty limiting their spending --often spending money when it might not be in their best interest.  And one in three report that they  have trouble spending money -- often not spending money on things they should spend it on due to anxiety about spending or other reasons.    

Key findings included:    

  • Two in five respondents (42%) report that they have some difficulty limiting their spending and often spend money even if they would do better not to.  Respondents ages 18-49 (18%) are more likely than those ages 50+ (10%) to say that they often or always have trouble limiting their spending. 
  • One in three (34%) say that they have trouble spending money because it makes them anxious and they don’t spend money on things they should spend it on.  However, over three in five (64%) say that they never or rarely have trouble spending money.    
  • Almost a quarter of all respondents (24%) consider themselves to be a “tightwad” – someone who has difficulty spending money, while over one in ten (15%) describe themselves as a “spendthrift” – someone who has difficulty controlling their spending.  

The study was conducted for AARP via telephone by Social Science Research Solutions (SSRS) using its national omnibus survey service.  The interviews were conducted from June 1–5, 2011, among a nationally representative sample of 1,078 people ages 18 and older.  SSRS weighted the data to be nationally representative of the adult population 18 years of age and older.  For additional information contact Lona Choi-Allum at 202-434-6333.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

The Cheap Life

Jeff Yeager Cheap Life Ultimate Cheapskate AARP YouTube web series save money

Catch the latest episode of The Cheap Life starring Jeff Yeager, AARP's Ultimate Cheapskate. Watch

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

membership benefit financial college aarp

Advice on saving for education from AARP® College Savings Solutions from TIAA-CREF.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can get cash back rewards on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

member benefit aarp financial service auto insurance

AARP® Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford offers members no-cost quotes.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Advance your skills. Transform your career.

Explore your learning possibilities.