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Fewer Americans Put Off Expenses This Year

Americans were less likely to put off expenses in 2016 than they were in previous years, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds.

Many people still made decisions this year with an eye on their budgets. Forty-one percent say they held off on buying new clothes or other personal items this year to save money, while 36 percent delayed going on vacation or taking time off. Twenty-six percent temporarily tabled home repairs or maintenance, while 19 percent put off fixing their cars. Eighteen percent say they waited on receiving medical care in order to save money.

Every one of those numbers, however, has trended downward since December 2014, when half of Americans reported putting off purchases and more than a third said they’d delayed needed home repairs. Thirty-two percent of Americans in the most recent poll say they haven’t put off any of those expenses, up modestly from 27 percent two years ago.

A 59 percent majority of Americans say that saving money played at least a minor role in their holiday plans this year, down from 68 percent in 2014 but unchanged since 2015. Three in 10 say that saving money was a major factor in their plans this year.

Twelve percent of Americans say they’ve gotten a new job this year, 9 percent say they’ve gotten a promotion or raise, 8 percent say they’ve quit a job and 5 percent say they’ve been fired or laid off.

Those with full-time jobs say by a 53-point margin, 70 percent to 17 percent, that they are proud of their current job, and say by a 40-point margin, 64 percent to 24 percent, that their job makes good use of their skills and education.

Most Americans don’t think their financial standing has changed much over the past year, an earlier HuffPost/YouGov survey found, and relatively few expect changes in the coming year.

Expectations about personal finances, though, are affected not only by circumstances, but also by politics: Supporters of Donald Trump are twice as likely as supporters of Hillary Clinton to say they believe their finances will improve in 2017.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted Dec. 9-12 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample, rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.

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