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More Savings Stats to Scare the Bejeezers Out of You

Greece implodes!

California teeters!

States withhold tax refunds!

I’m not sure about you, but I’m starting to call the second decade of the 21st century, the “Exclamation Point Decade.” Bad, scary news is reported 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The breathless fear seems to increase with every headline and news segment.

Why should I be any different. I recently read some statistics at CNN Money that are pretty fear-inspiring. (As always, I have a sunny spin on it…)

According to CNN Money, 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 in savings. That’s almost half, folks. This means that in some of the most perilous occupational times in recent memory, Americans have just a few months of living expenses saved back.

I wish I could stop there. But no. About 27 percent have less than a grand in savings! (See there’s that exclamation point again.)

There may be a bright spot: a bunch of new numbers indicate that Americans are paying down debt. So, let’s hope this is a sign that people are paying off debt with steep interest rates before they begin to build up their savings. (Although, arguably, you may want that emergency fund first.)

If you resemble those dire savings statistics, also take heart. It’s always a good time to turn your personal financial picture around by saving an emergency fund, as well as investing and spending wisely.

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  1. March 15th, 2010 at 06:18 | #1

    This is why we need to be hard at work in the personal finance blogging world–to be voices in the dark warning the masses against complacency!

    Are the big picture problems causing people to not have money, or is the fact that people don’t have money causing the big picture problems???

  2. March 15th, 2010 at 06:32 | #2

    That’s true, Kevin. Right now it seems to be a big feedback loop. Bad macro-economic policies are increasing poor micro-economic choices. And it goes around and around.

  1. March 17th, 2010 at 18:35 | #1