Having a stable financial future is important for many Americans, as are the continued strong financial strategies they may implement. Keeping up on these initiatives can be difficult, but it may help them feel more comfortable with their budgeting in the near term.
More than 35 percent of Americans noted that they are focusing on their bill paying more than any other financial aspect, according to a report from Bankrate.com. Close to 20 percent explained they are also looking to cut down their current debt levels for either credit cards, student loans or both.
The figures were not significantly different than the findings one year ago, which may suggest some people are still struggling, the report explained. A total of 32 percent of consumers said that bill payment was their biggest worry last year, while another 23 percent were focused on debt more than anything else.
“People do not have the income to support their current debt obligations,” said Gail Cunningham, spokeswoman for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. “Back years ago, when people were living large, they created a lifestyle that their income could not support, but I don’t think that’s going on anymore. These respondents are probably doing the best they can.”
Despite the negatives, some people are working to build on their finances, instead of just catching up. Nearly one-fifth noted that they are trying to save money more than any other financial-related issue, the report said. This is also a big item for young people, as 27 percent of those who are young than 30 years old noted this.
Some young people need work on financial habits
There are good and bad sources for gaining financial knowledge, and this may be something that young people struggle with. According to a report completed jointly between the American Institute of CPAs and the Ad Council, close to 80 percent of young people figure out their own financial habits based on what their friends do. Another two-thirds try to keep up with their friends based on their housing location, while a similar amount purchase the same types of clothes.
“As the old saying goes: Be careful about the company you keep,” said Ernie Almonte, chair of the National Financial Literacy Commission for AICPA. “Many young adults are building financial foundations with the wrong blueprints. They need to make sure they’re modeling the best behavior for their long-term financial stability.”