Before you read the rest of this article, ask yourself a couple of questions:
- How much money do you currently have in your checking account?
- How much money do you currently have in savings?
- Are you saving for something specific?
These questions, and many more were asked of many Americans by the Certified Financial Planners Board of Standards and the Consumer Federation of America, in order to compare today’s sentiments about financial fitness with those from a similar survey in 1997. And as it turns out, recession makes Americans a whole lot less responsible financially.
The most startling statistic perhaps was highlighted recently on CNBC with “Americans Would Rather Save for Vacation Than Kids’ College.” The title here says it all, right? Think about that. An average household has .94 children (according to trusty Google). And the average college education costs a pretty $100,000 (again, thanks Google). Yet moms and dads around the world would rather save for that yearly trip to Disney than they would for little Johnny and Jill to go to college? Does this make sense? Of course not.
Perhaps we, as Americans, need to think about savings differently. The third question I asked you above was “Are you saving for something specific?” But perhaps we should replace that question with three more specific questions:
- What are you saving for this year?
- What are you saving for in the next five years?
- What are you saving for in he next 25 years?
When you think about savings over time as well as short-term, you may find that you’ll meet more of your goals over time – recession or not.