Today's debt report

Americans Aren’t Spending Less Because They’re Making Less

For years, Americans said the top reason they don’t spend more was due to stagnant income, but not anymore.

Bankrate says Americans admit the need to save more as their top priority for not spending as much during the month, and millennials are the top savers.

Almost half of millennials — 48 percent — say saving is their top reasoning for why they limit their spending, while older adults 62-70 years old say stagnant income is the reason they aren’t spending as much.

Things might not be as rosy as they appear, though, because 22 percent of older millennials say they have too much debt to spend their money on other things throughout the month. This isn’t surprising, as mounting student loan debt now totals $1.3 trillion across the nation.

And it’s not just student loan debt. Americans have a ton of debt that comes in all forms, and mortgages take the top spot as the most expensive thing for Americans. But student loan debt is the second-biggest source of debt nationwide.

Happiness could be a financial setback

Young people care more about happiness within their jobs and careers than money, and because of that, they could be facing big financial holdups.

Because money is last on the list in terms of priorities for millennials, young people have begun to work nonstop to make up for the income they could be making if they put money ahead of happiness. Because of this, their financial anxiety is high, but that doesn’t mean they are being careless with their money.

As millennials look to improve their finances by simply talking about them more than their parents and grandparents did, they are more likely to save more and earlier on in life. This is helpful, considering parents don’t know enough about money to teach their kids. Many are uninformed about finances themselves that they pass along that misinformation to their children!

How to save and stay on budget

First, you must actually have a budget if you want to stay on budget. Break down your income and your expenses. Are you going out to eat a few times a week? Stopping for coffee in the mornings instead of making it at home? See what’s worth keeping and what’s worth ditching and put savings into your budget to make sure you meet your goals every month!

And make sure your savings is a solid, viable option, but you aren’t short-changing yourself. Set your goals both short-term and long-term. Do you have enough for retirement? Maybe a down payment on a home next year? Do you need a new car or maybe you can live without a second vehicle in your home? Get a line-item budget of your needs and your wants, and make sure you and your family is following through. But realistically, give yourself some cushion for little rule breaks every so often.

Here’s how to create a budget that works for you, plus more ways to save in our Solutions Center.

Posted in: Budgeting & Saving, News
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