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#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.

Courtesy:

Chris Harper

www.hungerfordnichols.com

616-949-3200

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