"We hear from our readers every day about their financial hopes and realities, so it was fascinating to see many of those same themes reflected in a large, national survey," said Katie Ryan O'Connor, who helps edit the popular personal finance blog Get Rich Slowly. "While many Americans responding to the survey said they felt more secure in their finances than last year (43 percent), a majority (58 percent) said they felt the same or even less secure than before. In a time of economic recovery and expansion, this is something we all need to pay attention to – whether as bloggers, financial educators, neighbors or policy makers. We are all in this together."
Positive findings included that 64 percent of survey respondents feel "very" or "somewhat" confident in their ability to reach their financial goals, and 53 percent are confident they will pay off their student loans on time. Seventy-six percent reported they have not paid any credit card late fees in the past year.
"The survey points to a few very encouraging trends in personal finance. For instance more than half of the respondents create a monthly budget and 69 percent say they use the budget to control spending. Managing your personal finances by regularly creating a budget is essential for anyone interested in paying off debt," said Toni Husbands of Debt Free Divas.
However, some unsettling findings from the survey include that nearly half of respondents (49 percent) have credit card debt and 46 percent have less savings today than they expected they would five years ago. Furthermore, 39 percent say they have a hard time finding financial education resources, 71 percent report being behind on their retirement savings and more than half (54 percent) believe they will never pay off their debt fully.
"While some consumers are on a good path with their finances, others are struggling. The best way to improve your situation is to become more educated about managing money and debt," adds Rod Griffin, director of public education at Experian. "That is why resources like personal finance blogs are so beneficial. You can read timely information and real life stories from experts and peers on everything from understanding credit to learning how to invest."
Additional survey highlights
- Most respondents (74 percent) report feeling stressed due to finances at least "sometimes"
- Forty-one percent are earning less than they thought they would be five years ago
Budgeting and spending:
- Half of respondents report making an impulse purchase at least monthly, with 70 percent of those "impulse buyers" saying it's when they find a good deal
Savings and investing:
- Seventy-one percent of respondents report being behind on their retirement savings
- Seventy percent do not invest in stocks and bonds, and 41 percent of those said they do not plan on investing in the future
- Of respondents with credit card debt, lack of cash flow (36 percent) and overspending (27 percent) are the primary causes
- Seventy percent at least "somewhat agree" that debt prevents them from living their life to the fullest
- Sixty-six percent of those respondents with student loans regret taking them out
- A majority (70 percent) agree that student loans negatively impact their ability to save for large purchases
Money management among spouses:
- Forty-eight percent of respondents in a relationship discuss financial matters only once a month or less with their partner
- Thirty percent say they disagree about finances with their spouse "all the time"
To view the entire report, go to http://bit.ly/2cARYsu.
Education is key to a successful financial future. For resources regarding personal finance and credit topics, visit the Experian Credit Education blog, http://www.experian.com/education.
About the survey
In collaboration with Experian, invited bloggers contributed to the survey. The online survey was conducted by Edelman Berland on Experian's behalf from June 3 to 8, 2016, among 1,000 adults 18 years of age or older who reside in the United States. This online survey is not based on a probability sample; therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact email@example.com.
About Experian Consumer Services
The Experian Consumer Services division provides credit monitoring and other informational products, such as identity protection, to millions of consumers via the internet. The organization enables consumers to monitor their credit reports online, check their FICO® Scores and protect against identity theft. Its products include Experian CreditWorksSM and ProtectMyID®. Experian Consumer Services has established integrated, cobranded relationships with leading online financial destinations that provide consumers with a broad range of comprehensive online financial products and information essential to managing one's financial life. For more information, visit http://www.experian.com.
We are the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to our clients around the world. We help businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. We also help people to check their credit report and credit score and protect against identity theft. In 2015, we were named one of the "World's Most Innovative Companies" by Forbes magazine.
We employ approximately 17,000 people in 37 countries and our corporate headquarters are in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.
Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended March 31, 2016, was US$4.6 billion.
To find out more about our company, please visit http://www.experianplc.com or watch our documentary, "Inside Experian."
Experian and the Experian marks used herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.
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SOURCE Experian Consumer Services