By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two new surveys find that consumers have room for improvement when it comes to saving for a rainy day or retirement. As 3 On Your side consumer reporter Jim Donovan tells us, one big obstacle in saving is credit card debt.
High gas prices, rising food costs, and a host of other personal expenses can be obstacles to Americans putting more money away for the future.
In a recent survey by the Consumer Federation of America, 54 percent of those responding said they have a savings plan with specific goals.
43 percent said they have a budget that allows them to save enough money to achieve those goals.
But a separate survey conducted by Bankrate.com found that one in four Americans, have credit card debt that exceeds what they have in the bank.
“The problem that a lot of households are confronting now is that their expenses continue to creep higher and their income is not. And it just makes it that much more difficult to make progress on things like savings and debt repayment,” said Greg McBride with Bankrate.com.
One approach to tackling that debt? Pay off the debt with the highest interest first and get a plan in place to cut down the remainder.
This week is Philadelphia saves week. Where consumers are encouraged to pledge to save over time and meet a savings goal.
The folks at Clarifi, our region’s leading non-profit credit counseling agency has free a online savings tracker to help you with that. You can even sign up to receive text messages with helpful savings tips.
RELATED LINK: http://clarifi.org/education/philadelphia-saves