Debt On The Rise: Americans Missing the Big Picture of Personal Finance

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Despite the wealth of financial planning information available, Americans are still swimming in debt and unprepared for retirement because they fail to deal with all aspects of personal finance.

People who really track their expenses using a simple daily tracker find that they are wasting, on average, $312 every month

Despite the wealth of financial planning information available, Americans are still swimming in debt and unprepared for retirement.

Some experts link this trend to lack of information.

"They are being fed boatloads of incorrect information," said personal finance expert and author, Alan Williams. "What information they do have is not sufficient to make sense of the entire problem so it can be solved."

Even conservative estimates from The Federal Reserve Board indicate that nearly 50 percent of all Americans are drowning in credit card and other unsecured debt. According to financial experts this trend is just part of a viscous cycle of over-spending, taxation, and interest rate burdens that leads to poor saving habits.

Many people suffering from debt and living pay check to pay check are not irresponsible spenders. In fact, they likely adhere to a strict budget in order to make all their debt payments on time. However, their singular focus may very well be what prevents them from getting their personal finances under control.

"Financial security is determined not by how much money you make, but by your overall fiscal awareness and how you apply that information to every area of finances, including debt management, spending, and tax paying," said Williams. "Too many people try to manage their money by concentrating on debt, for instance, while they still don't have their spending under control. True financial management is only possible when you can see how spending, borrowing, savings, and tax paying are all related and must be managed at the same time."

In order to get a handle on personal finances, Williams recommends addressing every piece of the financial puzzle, which includes the following four areas:

  • Spending Control
  • Debt Elimination
  • Savings Maximization
  • Tax Reduction

Peter Jeppson, a motivational speaker and financial planning educator believes the first step to mastering personal finances is to use expense tracking software and other financial planning resources to accurately and consistently plan and track spending habits.

"People who really track their expenses using a simple daily tracker find that they are wasting, on average, $312 every month," said Jeppson. "That's hundreds of dollars every month they could use to pay down debt, live within their means, and save for retirement."

See the big picture of personal finance. Download a free financial planning e-book and get expense tracking software at http://www.moneymastery.com.

About Money Mastery
Money Mastery® is a time-proven personal financial literacy and coaching program created by the founders of Time & Money, LLC, a service company specializing in the financial education of individuals, families, and corporations. It is the only comprehensive financial management system that helps individuals and families take control of every aspect of their financial life.

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Suzanne Kimball Rekow
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