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foreclosedhomeHow quickly we might forget. A new survey by HSBC Direct shows that 76% of those polled will probably return to their old money habits once financial conditions improve.

Currently, Americans have returned to some good financial habits during the recession, including:

  • 81% are saving more or the same than they were six months ago
  • More than half have reduced discretionary purchases, and nearly half have cut back on household spending
  • 71% of people feel either an equivalent or increased sense of financial control than they did six months ago

But according to the survey, which polled 1,000 respondents online on April 14 and 15, these habits might not stick or develop further once the financial crunch eases. (Survey’s error of margin is +/-3.1%):

  • One in four admit to not having a specific savings strategy
  • 15% say it took significant debt or bankruptcy to get them to save at all
  • Half don’t thoroughly research all the financial products they purchase
  • 44% don’t consider themselves as knowing enough about personal finances to “get by”
  • 43% have saved money on and off, but never followed a consistent plan
  • One in four admit to not having a specific savings strategy, and 15% say it took significant debt or bankruptcy to get them to save at all
  • Only 12% have instituted an actual budget

If history is any indication – ahem the dot.com bust in the stock market in 2001 comes to mind – then it doesn’t take consumers all that long to forget.

Don’t repeat history. Check out my columns for the latest financial news to help you get back — and stay — on track:

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