Most Americans kept holiday spending in check

It's January and the holiday bills are piling up - or are they? Apparently, Americans did well during the busiest shopping season of the year keeping spending just where they wanted. reports four out of five Americans spent at or below their expectations. Just 14% of shoppers spent more than had been planned. Only the highest-income group - those with an annual household income of $75,000 or more) was inclined to have shelled out more for holiday gift giving.'s latest Financial Security Index provides an encouraging picture about consumers' finances. The Index hit a seven-month high in January. The biggest improvement came with consumers' comfort levels with debt and feelings about their overall financial situations. The Index looks at five components: debt, overall financial situation, job security, net worth, and savings. The numbers improved for every category except savings. Even that showed the least negativity since December 2010.

Senior citizens 65 and over are more likely than other age groups to say their financial situation is worse today than it was one year ago.