When it comes to saving money, seeing the world is the No. 1 priority for Americans, according to a new survey by SunTrust Banks. It was recently revealed that 45 percent of Americans save their money for travel, surpassing saving money for emergency savings, retirement, buying a house and buying a car/truck/motorcycle.
The quarterly National Financial Confidence Index surveyed 2,500 adult Americans representing different ages, incomes and geographic regions. Even when the survey results are broken down by generation, traveling is still the No. 1 reason to set money aside, especially for millennials (at 47 percent).
After travel, 37 percent of Americans put money toward emergency savings; 30 percent for retirement; 21 percent save money to buy a house; and 20 percent save money to buy a car, truck and/or motorcycle.
Other survey results back up these findings: in another report by Expedia, 57 percent of Americans are currently saving money for travel and, even higher, 65 percent of millennials are saving money for travel. A whopping 74 percent of Americans prioritize experiences over products or things.
Indeed, research shows travel can bring happiness. People get more enjoyment and satisfaction from experiential purchases, like travel, over material purchases. This is especially true for millennials, who would rather travel for experiences than buy a home.
That happiness leads to feeling less stress about money or finances, which leads to higher financial confidence. According to the survey, the one in five Americans who score highest on financial confidence are more likely to be happier, give to charity and are more satisfied with their freedom to make life choices – like travel.
Ultimately, mastering one’s finances is the key to financial confidence. While income plays a part, living on a budget, managing debt, saving regularly – for both personal interests and emergencies – and planning for retirement are all key drivers of financial confidence.