Recently, an article was posted on Life, Inc. that stated 1 out of 4 Americans have more credit card debt than they do in savings. But I’m a “glass is half full” kind of thinker and see this quite differently:
That’s a great statistic to hear; 75% of Americans have more in their savings accounts than they carry in credit card debt. Of course it would be nice to increase that percentage to 90 or even 100%, but 75% is a start.
So, why did Life, Inc. decide to focus on the negative? My guess is that people enjoy hearing about gloom and doom; it makes them feel better about themselves. For example, if they’re part of the 75%, they feel like they’re “normal” or part of the majority and may even feel superior to the 25% who don’t fit the description. If they’re part of the 25%, then they feel like they’re not alone and others are struggling as well (a “misery loves company” sort of outlook). Let’s face it, no one wants to be the only schmuck that can’t get their act together.
But what if you’re part of the 25% who really want to be part of the 75%? It’s not a magic trick or something only a handful of people can achieve. It really boils down to basic money sense:
- Spend less than you earn. Aren’t happy with your salary? Take on a side gig, switch careers, or move to a lower cost area.
- Save a portion of your income. Automate it every pay period so you don’t accidentally spend it.
- Set attainable goals to work your way out of debt. Make a habit of paying off your credit card debt using some kind of method; snowball, snowflake, bottom up or top down strategy, then set a budget to help you stay out of debt.
It’s really not how much you make, but how much you spend.
Which group do you fall into, the 25% of the 75%?