#1 – DO AMERICANS SAVE ENOUGH?
· RetailMeNot.com recently polled over 1,000 Americans.
· Roughly 80% of Americans state that they have at least some money set aside for savings.
· However, almost half of consumers said they don't have sufficient savings to last for more than a month without a regular source of income.
· Approximately 25% of those with savings accounts did not know their savings account balances!
#2 – HOW MUCH SHOULD A PERSON SAVE?
· The eventual goal is at least enough to cover six months of expenses.
· Enough savings to cover a year without income would be terrific.
· Start small and work toward the bigger goal.
· Don't worry about getting too complicated. The most important thing is to start saving!
#3 – ARE AMERICANS CONFIDENT ABOUT THEIR PERSONAL FINANCES?
· The RetailMeNot.com poll revealed that approximately half of Americans are not confident regarding their personal finance knowledge.
· In a poll of over 2,000 households, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® identified startling statistics.
61% of households reported that they do not use a budget.
34% of households carry a credit card balance from month to month.
16% of households worried that they did not have sufficient savings for emergencies.
41% of adults graded their personal finance knowledge as a C, D or F!
65% of adults had not reviewed their credit report in the past twelve months.
· A recent survey conducted by Bankrate.com assigned Americans a collective grade of "D" in financial literacy.
· Because personal finance typically is not emphasized in our formative years, this knowledge gap often follows us into adulthood.
#4 – STEPS TOWARD IMPROVING FINANCIAL LITERACY
· Set financial goals and honestly evaluate your results.
· Establish a budget and track your spending. Rely on a spouse, friend or budget buddy to help keep you on track.
· The AICPA provides terrific resources at http://www.360financialliteracy.org
· Consider hiring a personal financial advisor.
· Ask your company's H.R. department if they offer resources for personal financial planning.
#5 - PERONAL FINANCE IS ABOUT PERSONAL BEHAVIOR
· Patience and persistence are more important than advanced math skills!
· Step back and identify detrimental habits and routines that have become normal in your lifestyle.
· Develop the ability to discern wants and needs.
· Willingness to delay gratification is an important wealth-building tool.
· Learn to live on less than you earn and develop this habit into your lifestyle.
· Teach your children about spending and saving. You might be surprised that this will help you too!
· Approach debt with the caution it deserves. Not all debt is bad, but you should borrow sparingly and wisely.