A recent poll conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling reveals that most consumers–92%–are afraid of running out of money. The majority of poll respondents (64%) dread being unable to pay their bills each month.
In addition, 14% are afraid that they will not have enough cash to retire comfortably. Some report that they have absolutely no money fears. Just 8% said they have no financial worries.
“The focus on immediate needs, as opposed to future ones such as retirement, reflects the uncomfortable financial situation in which many Americans live month after month,” said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC, in a statement. “Entering the holiday shopping season already struggling to meet existing debt obligations will only add more pressure on the family.”
The NFCC offers these tips:
- Keep track of spending. If you want to get a handle on your debt, you’ll have to first identify the money drains. Resolve to keep a log of everything you purchase for at least 30 days. This will show you if you’re spending more money on wants than needs.
- Monitor cash flow. Use a calendar reserved for tracking finances. Write down all of your income sources and the accompanying pay days. Then make a note of when bills are due during each cycle. If you see a conflict with one or more due dates, contact your credit and ask if you can change your date. This is the easiest way for you to avoid going into overdraft or being hit with a late payment fee.
- Save. A cash cushion will help shield you from the potentially disastrous consequences of an unexpected bill.