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The No. 1 reason people are saving isn't retirement or a major purchase — it's to go somewhere.

2 minute read

When it comes to American savings we’ve all got our reasons for stashing money away. But our rainy-day savings isn’t for a “what if” fund — it’s for a “where to?”

Where are American savings going?

Travel is the top reason Americans are saving, according to a SunTrust Bank poll. At 45 percent, it’s twice as important as buying a house or vehicle.

And love for travel isn’t limited to younger Americans. Forty-seven percent of millennials and 38 percent of the silent generation prefer traveling as their biggest reason to save.

Saving is good, but not saving can cause stress

Even as many people are making it a priority to save their hard-earned dollars for traveling, most respondents admit that they feel stressed about their finances.

That’s because it’s hard to save when there isn’t a whole lot of money to put away. Debt is the biggest cause of stress in the country. And mostly noticed among women.

When we don’t have money to save, it means in the event of an emergency, we don’t know what to do. That can take a huge toll on our emotional health. Financial well-being directly impacts many parts of our lives, not just what we can pay for.

“Those who report feeling less stress about money or finances have a higher financial confidence,” says SunTrust director Keith Lerner. “A financial cushion is a smart way to plan for the unexpected.”

Where is the stress coming from?

Almost every state is stressed about money. Most American savings accounts can’t pay off their debt. Sure: having a cushion helps, but what if we can’t ever get there?

It might start in the workplace. For women, they may have the same position and years of experience as their male counterparts, but earn less than them. And young people aren’t doing much better. Millennials that move up are getting promotions but not pay raises.

And furthermore, young people want to do well at their jobs. They want to work for companies that are doing good things in the world, even if that means they don’t earn the highest paycheck. They might let their conscious get a boost, even if it means their bank account takes a dip. But it also means they will work a lot without breaks.

Lower paychecks mean a leaner lifestyle. And it’s harder on mom bosses: most entrepreneur moms are primary caretakers in their families. That means they’re not only putting their kids to bed, but they’re also putting in a second shift late at night.

Lack of proper finances is literally killing us. Money problems have proven to hurt our health. Most Americans are concerned about their finances and how to afford living long after they stop working. Since we know we can’t afford to stop working in retirement, many Americans plan to work until they die.

Stress may lessen if you get your family on a budget. Manage your debt and take control of your finances so money doesn’t continue to ruin your life.

Don’t let financial stress stop you from saving for college, retirement, or yes — even traveling.

Let help. We offer a variety of money management solutions that fit your lifestyle.

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About the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn is a full-time freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She’s president of Blossomers Media, Inc., a web development and online media consulting company. Along with her work on, she’s been a longtime freelancer for Money Talks News — a personal and consumer finance website — and South Florida Gay News — the largest weekly LGBT newspaper in the South.Zinn has written for a variety of other publications, including Huffington Post, The Week, Quartz, Fort Lauderdale Magazine, Indulge, and

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