A recent report revealed that a surprising amount of Americans are feeling bleak about their personal finances. 55% of responders to a survey state that they don’t believe their financial situation will get any better this year compared to last year. Even more worryingly, 12% say that they expect their finances to worsen over the course of the year. So, why are so many Americans feeling pessimistic about their cash flow, and what can be done to improve their bank balance?
What’s to blame?
49% of those who anticipate a poor financial year, point the blame at Washington politicians. However, other factors rank highly, too. 38% say that the growing cost of living is hitting their finances hard, which is no surprise considering CBS reporting that it’s rising at its fastest rate in a decade. Meanwhile, 37% blame increased debt, and 21% say they’re making less money from their savings and investments. This is no doubt concerning the U.S public as consumer debt is growing at a rapid rate and currently sits at $13.95 trillion, a 4.7% jump since 2008.
Financial goals are the way forward
Despite the majority of the nation feeling downbeat about their bank balance, 89% are taking positive action and plan to make at least one financial goal. 30% will aim to get on top of their personal debt in 2019, whereas, 13% want to improve the way their budget. One way to achieve this is to reconsider the way you pay for your purchases. By choosing the right method, you can earn points and cashback. This ultimately means more cash in your pocket and a better chance of getting on top of your budget and your debt.
A cash safety net
One of the main reasons why so many Americans are concerned about their 2019 cash flow is that 52% don’t have enough savings to cover a $1,000 value emergency. The prospect of being unable to afford to repair a broken down car or to fix a leaking roof is enough to make the nation worry. However, Bankrate’s senior economic analyst, Mark Hamrick, believes more emphasis needs to be put on building an emergency savings fund. “I would say that probably more people do need to be making that a priority because over time we haven’t actually seen that people are making that much progress on that front and at least in terms of a cross section of the population,” he says.
The majority of Americans feel that 2019 will be a poor year for them financially. But, the good news is that this can be overcome by setting achievable financial goals and working towards building a solid cash safety net.