Financial Failure 101
If you like being apart of a large group of financially unsuccessful people, then do we have the opportunity for you! Do you have trouble with the following?
- Making $2,000 dollars fast
- Saving more than 4.9% of your income.
- Having more than $10,000 in retirement savings.
$2,000 in 30 days
You are far from being alone! According to the National Bureau of Economic Research in their report titled “Financially Fragile Households: Evidence and Implications” they’ve found that only 25% of American households could come up with $2,000 if given 30 days.
Another 19% believe they might be able to come up with $2,000 in 30 days if they could pawn and sell some of their possessions.
The US Savings Rate
Part of the problem is that the American savings rate is currently at 4.9% which means that $2,000 is more than 1 year’s worth of savings for anyone making $40,500 or less per year at 4.9% savings rate.
Don’t tell me that you can’t swing more than 4.9%, very few people have less than 4.9% margin in their finances, and any that do can cut out enough to do far better.
I’m not trying to say that there isn’t a single person living at 0% margin, but I’m also not dumb. I know that most people who have 0% or negative margin are wasting a lot of money, and could easily create savings. Here are some areas that I would immediately ask about:
Simple Things That Help Make You Poor:
- Do you eat out ever? Literally, do you ever eat food that you didn’t have prepared at your house.
- Do you have cable, satellite, or any other form of premium TV?
- Do you have one of the slower high-speed internet offering? I do, and I’m able to stream Netflix without issue. Few people need any of the top offerings, I don’t care how little the additional cost is.
- Do you go to the movies, bowling, drinking, or any other outside entertainment?
- Do you have any expensive vices or hobbies?
I know these questions indicate that I would expect you to live like a hermit, but if your choice is to end up homeless, or live like a hermit, I’d tell you to live like a hermit for a while. Many of those things I’ve cut out of our lives and we aren’t even in a financial pinch!
43% of Americans Have Less Than $10,000 for Retirement
In another report, 43% of Americans have less than $10,000 in retirement savings. For many people, $10,000 would only be enough to live anywhere from 3 – 10 months!
What this tells me is that many Americans are sacrificing their future for today or yesterday. This is a dangerous mindset to have. How can you have any hope for the future when you aren’t helping to grow it?
How to avoid being like the crowd
For those who don’t like being apart of the large crowd, you only have to do a few things to change your current direction: save your money. Don’t buy the latest iPad, Kindle, or 3D television, save your money. If you can get your savings rate above the 4.9% average rate, then you’ll be doing better than most of America in just a few short months!
Your immediate goals should be to eliminate your debt, increase your savings, and save for retirement. Accumulating stuff should be at the bottom of your list of things. In fact, getting rid of stuff and using that money towards debt might just a great start as well!