47% of Americans save zero.
By Chuck Bentley
A recent article in Business Insider headlined this news: Nearly half of all Americans save nothing. That is nada, zero, zip. Here’s the problem with the article. This is not news. This has been the practice for about the last than 20 years. The bigger question is Why? Why are we a nation with very few savers?
I scanned through the many comments to this article and a popular explanation is that half of our population thinks they don’t earn enough money to be able to save. To that I say, not true! If you are a low-income earner, you can’t afford NOT TO SAVE.
The reality is that everyone can learn to save something. I think there are three reasons people are not saving any money:
1. They have not made up their minds that it is important to save. We all can rationalize why we don’t save, but if we determine to do it, we are likely to practice it.
2. We have so many options to spend our money on things like mobile phones, cable TV, those over-priced coffee shops, and eating out that we give in week after week to spending vs. saving.
3. We have come to rely on our credit cards as a fall back in emergencies.
I believe anyone can save money. The average annual savings rate in China is about 40 percent, and they have a much lower average income than Americans. The first step is to determine that it is important; the next step is to make a plan. I am a fan of automatic withdrawals from your paycheck. The next step is to set a goal to save $1000 and get started. Finally, don’t stop. You will be amazed at how much better off you will be in 12 months.
Originally posted 4/7/2015.