You’ve probably heard this before: You should have enough money set aside at any given point to cover at least three months of your bills. Six month’s worth of income sitting in the bank, of course, would be better.
If you constantly have “too much week left” after your paycheck is gone and nothing more than moths fluttering around your savings account, are you a failure? Absolutely not. You’re actually in pretty good company.
The economy in this country seems to be thriving, but Americans are struggling harder than ever. Even with rising wages, a new survey indicates that 53% of people in this country don’t have an emergency fund that can cover three months of their bills. Even worse, 49% say that they live paycheck to paycheck and don’t foresee that changing any time in 2020.
Ideally, someone who is 50 years of age should have about five times their annual salary stashed away in a retirement fund — but that’s just not a reality for many Americans. In the recent survey, 37% of people indicated that they have no plans to fund a retirement account any time soon — and only 10% of people considered their retirement accounts a priority over the next year. That’s not really surprising when you realize that the majority of people are more focused on stretching their dollars from one pay period to the next one.
In many cases, it’s consumer debt that is eating up all of a family’s available funds. Wages are on the rise, but old credit card debt and hospital bills that have accumulated in the past may be hampering the ability of many to achieve their financial goals. If this is your situation, it may be time to consider bankruptcy as an option. A clean financial start may be exactly what you need.