Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Most Americans Don't Budget According to a Survey

financial planning, budget, finances, money management, debt

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) recently published a survey about the Consumer Financial Literacy. The 2014 Financial Literacy Survey that was conducted by Harris Poll online last March, gives us an idea of American consumer's degree financial literacy. It also identifies their behavior and attitude towards trends that is linked to personal finance.

More than 2,000 American adults ages 18 and above took part of this survey, that was sponsored by Experian Consumer Services.

Check out the Key Findings from the NFCC 2014 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey:

Budgeting and Debt:
  •  61% of the respondents admitted that they don't have a budget, the highest percentage in six years.
  • 1/3 or 34% of US adults indicated that their household carries credit card debt from month-to-month. It was also reported that about 15% or more than 35 million US adults admitted that they roll-over $2,500 or more monthly.
  • The proportion of adults who are spending less when compared to last year continues to go down. As you can see on the infographic in 2009 it as at its highest at 57%, it declines annually, it stand at its lowest at 29% in 2014.
Savings vs. Spending:
  • 16% of Adults in the US, worries about having not enough "rainy day" savings.   
  • 16% of Americans also worries about retiring without having enough money set aside.
  •  32% of Americans still don not save any portion of their yearly income for retirenment.

Credit Reports and Scores:
  • 65% of US adults have failed to review their credit reports within the past 12 months.
  • 60% of US adults have not reviewed their credit score.
  • 21% or about 1 in 5 US adults are not at all sure about what types of information are included on a standard credit report.
Survey Confirms the need for Financial Education:
  • 41% of US adults gave themselves a grade of C, D or F in grading their knowledge of personal finance.
  • 21% of them said that if money could talk, they think their money would say "I'm smaller than most of my friends."
  • 73% or 3/4 of US adults agree that they could benefit from financial advice from a professional.
April is the Financial Literacy Month and it is a good reminder for Americans to check their credit report and credit scores since credit knowledge is a very critical part when it comes to understanding personal finance.

With a lot of bad happening like online fraud the public should be vigilant and people should spend time checking their credit report regularly to safeguard and spot signs of fraud if there's any. It will also help people better understand the things that affects their credit, this will give us an idea on how to improve and  make informed financial decisions.

Red flags that Need attention about individual Personal Finance:
  • Absence of a budget
  • Confusion around credit reports and scores
  • Spending beyond what can be responsibly repaid
  • Insufficient savings
  • Admitted lack of knowledge pertaining to personal finance
According to financial experts budget is the basic tool of financial management, and if a person don't have one he or she will easily lose track of spending.

Click Here to access the info-graphic and to use its interactive features.

If you want more resources to help you with your money and finance management check out the sites below:

Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy - they are a partnership of about 150 national organizations and entities from different background like corporate, non-profit, academic, government and other sectors. Their mission is to help students in pre-kindergarten up to college in advancing financial literacy.

MyMoney.Gov – They teach the importance of the Five (5) building blocks for managing and growing your money which are Earn, Save and Invest, Protect, Spend, and Borrow.

360 Degrees of Financial Literacy
– Set up by American certified public accountants that aims to help the public understand their personal finances through every stage of life. The great thing about this tool is, it's FREE.

Mint - Lets you manage your budget with their easy to use personal finance tools and calculators. Track spending and monitor your online banking account. This is a free tool.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Obamacare sign-ups on track to hit 7M as website stalls

Obamacare, Obamacare sign up, Obamacare law which is the official website for U.S. consumers to enroll in private health insurance under Obamacare encountered technical issues twice on Monday due to huge surge of people accessing the website before the midnight deadline to sign up for coverage.

More than 6 million people had signed up for a private health coverage through the new Obamacare insurance market. It surpass the target set after a disastrous October rollout. Experts said that if the surge continues, they may exceed the original goal of 7 million.

There were times that there are more than 125,000 people using at once, thus straining it beyond its capacity.

President Barrack Obama has aggressively courting healthy 18 to 34 years, but there are reports that most of the enrollees are 35 and older.

McKinsey & Company also shows that 27% of the enrollees were previously uninsured and that roughly 75% of those who signed up for private insurance under ObamaCare have paid their premiums.