NU Online News Service, Dec. 17, 2004, 5:12 p.m. EST

Most Americans say they could cut back on day-to-day spending without suffering too much hardship.[@@]

The Allstate Corp., Northbrook, Ill., has published figures supporting that conclusion in a summary of results of a survey conducted by an outside polling firm.

Researchers called 1,604 U.S. residents born between 1946 and 1978 and annual household incomes of at least $35,000. They also called a separate sample of retirees with annual household incomes of at least $20,000.

The researchers found that 83% of the participants said they could cut back on discretionary spending to increase their retirement savings.

Only 3% of the participants said they could save more by giving up or cutting back on impulse buying and smoking, and only 8% were willing to give up cell phones or cable television.

But 18% said they could cut spending on entertainment, 16% said they could dine out less and 13% said they could spend less on clothing, Allstate says.