Many Americans have been able to improve their financial situations since the financial crisis, but credit card debt remains an issue for some.
According to research from Bankrate.com, only 55 percent of Americans have more emergency savings than credit card debt, up from 54 percent last year and 52 percent in 2011.
Additionally, nearly one in four Americans have more on their plastic than in their bank accounts.
Bankrate.com also reported a decline in its Financial Security Index from 98.6 in January to 96.8 in February. This means that consumer’s feel their financial situations have declined from a year ago.
The fact of the matter is that America is broke – whether it’s mortgages, student loans or credit cards, we are broke. The old rule of thumb is that people should have six months of savings. But if you talk to people, most don’t have two pennies. With so many people struggling to save, they could benefit from simple ways to put money away…
Sign up for free customer rewards programs – Whether you are shopping at the grocery or pharmacy, you should always sign up for the free rewards program. This can give you immediate savings and all you have to do is fill out an application. The extra money you save by receiving the store discount can be put into your savings account.
Track your monthly spending – Another way you can find some money to save is to track your spending. Knowing where your money is going can allow you to know if you are wasting any funds. If you do find an expense you can cut or reduce, you could have extra money to put into your savings account.
Lower your credit card’s interest rate – If you are one of the many Americans who struggling with credit card debt you may want to give your provider a call. By asking for a reduction in your interest rate you could save yourself a significant amount of money. Depending on the amount of debt you have, even lowering your rate a single percent could be beneficial.
Have people over for dinner – Instead of going out with your friends for dinner, invite them over for a party. When you eat a restaurant you are paying a premium for food and drinks, which could be costing you money.