Where your gas savings are really going

It's not where you say

What would you do with an extra $700 in your pocket? Most Americans say they’d save it. In fact, they tend to spend it—and a lot of that spending happens at restaurants.

This isn’t just a hypothetical question. A study released by JP Morgan Chase finds that the average American is saving $700 a year because of the low price of gasoline.

When asked what they plan to do with the savings from cheap gas, most Americans report that they are saving it and paying down debt. But after analyzing actual spending patterns, the study concluded that they’re actually spending about 80% of the windfall.

“The prevailing wisdom was that consumers were using their gas savings to repair their balance sheets, perhaps because they viewed the price declines as temporary or were suffering from a ‘debt overhang,’” the report says. The actual findings were “significantly” different.

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