Americans Have No Extra Money

According to a new ACNielson survey, people in the US are the most cash strapped people in the world with 22% saying they have no money left after they have paid for their essential living expenses. This ties the US for number one with Portugal.

Markets with Highest Percentage of Consumers Who Have No Spare Cash

While the numbers are nothing to smile about, there are a few positive signs within the numbers. The 22% that don’t have any spare cash is down 6% from 28% who reported they didn’t have any extra money in May 2005. In addition, among those that do have extra money, more are paying down credit card debt (42% compared to 37% in May 2005) and putting money into savings (35% compared to 23% in May 2005). Still, only 11% are using extra money to put into a retirement account and 12% into stocks or mutual funds.

How Americans Utilize Spare Cash

For the first time, the survey asked respondents what steps they take to keep their budgets balanced. The number-one strategy was to cut back on eating restaurant prepared meals. More than half also said that they save on gas and electricity, spend less on outside entertainment and reduce the amount they spend on new clothes to keep their budget balanced.

How U.S. Americans Balance Their Budget

While the efforts are a step in the correct direction, I feel most would benefit much more if they concentrated on saving money in areas where they can reap big, instant savings rewards for the time they spend — only 16% are trying to do this according to the survey. Once these have been exhausted, they can move onto (if needed) those other money saving methods mentioned in the survey.

What the survey shows most of all is that Americans need to learn a lot more about basic personal finance and saving money.

This entry was posted in Budgeting, Credit Cards, Investing, Personal Finance, Saving Money. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Americans Have No Extra Money

  1. Loi Tran says:

    At least more people are saving their money. Personal finance should be simple if people actually tried to learn. Just spend less than you make and save the rest to invest. They should teach personal finance in school.

  2. Becka says:

    Yes I am enjoying the top commentors plug-in thank you very much. Good work.

    Also, it’s true I have no spare cash but we are working this year very hard to change this. I am tired of living this way. =|

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  4. john says:

    I think this says a lot about what Americans consider essential living expenses. For example, many people in Chile live with their families until they are married and don’t own cars. If Americans did this, it would free up lots of cash.

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