People are cutting back on their spending to save money as the U.S. economy slows, according to a survey by Harris Interactive for the American Institute of CPAs.

The AICPA found that 25 percent of the 1,026 adults it polled said that they were either spending wisely or not spending as much as a way to save money. That’s a sharp increase from the 2 percent who said last year that they were spending wisely or cutting back on spending in order to save more.

Spending wisely or not spending as much ranks second as a savings strategy in the current survey. Interest-bearing savings accounts take the top spot, with 40 percent of respondents. Other strategies cited were company-sponsored retirement plans (13 percent); stocks, bonds and mutual funds (11 percent); individual retirement accounts (7 percent); certificates of deposit (5 percent); and conserving energy (3 percent).

“We’d like to see more people taking advantage of company retirement plans like 401(k)s,” said Carl George, chair of the AICPA’s National CPA Financial Literacy Commission, in a statement. “Many employers match a percentage of a worker’s contributions. A matching contribution is basically free money.”


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