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Survey: Americans spending more, worried about lack of savings

national foundation for credit counseling nfccTo commemorate Financial Literacy Month, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and Network Branded Prepaid Card Association released on Monday the results of the 2013 Financial Literacy Survey, which provides data about Americans’ attitudes towards personal finance.

The survey found that more than 25 percent of consumers said they are spending more than last year, while 77 percent of Americans indicated that they had financial concerns related to insufficient savings, in particular.

“This year’s survey results provided somewhat of a mixed message,” Susan C. Keating, the president and CEO of the NFCC, said. “While consumers moving out of recession mode and becoming more comfortable with spending is positive for the nation’s economy, they need to be mindful of the fact that increasing spending without a safety net in the form of savings could have a negative impact on their personal economy.”

Respondents in the survey were asked to list the financial concerns that worried them the most. Fifty-seven percent of Americans said they were worried about a lack of savings, with 43 percent indicating that they do not have enough “rainy day” funds for emergencies and 38 percent indicating concern about a lack of retirement savings.

Twenty-six percent, or about 61 million, American adults said they were worried about meeting their debt commitments, with 13 percent expressing concern about paying credit card debt and eight percent indicating they were concerned with student loan debt.

One in four American adults are worried about health insurance, with 19 percent indicating that they were concerned they could not afford it while 17 percent expressed concern about being unable to afford it or access it.

Eighteen percent indicated a fear of job loss, and four percent expressed concern regarding losing their home to foreclosure. While many respondents indicated concern about their credit score or lack of access to credit, 65 percent reported that they have not checked their credit report in the past year.

Forty percent of American adults gave themselves a grade of C, D or F on their personal finance knowledge, and 78 percent said they could benefit from financial advice from a professional.

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