Personal finance surveys show action lags behind good intentions

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 By

get financial house in order

Recent surveys show more Americans plan to get their personal finances in order, but fewer say they are acting on those plans. Image: CC bonnie-brown/Flickr

A pair of personal finance surveys show that Americans want to get their finances under control in 2011. Americans also want more knowledge about how to do that. But other data shows that when it comes to personal finance, concrete action has yet to catch up with good intentions.

Inside the personal finance numbers

An online poll commissioned by Northwestern Mutual showed that Americans are optimistic about their personal finances coming into the new year. The Harris Interactive poll found that about 70 percent of those surveyed rank getting their financial house in order a top priority for 2011. About the same percentage were confident they could get their personal finances under control. When it comes to making that happen, 39 percent ranked paying down debt as most important. About 30 percent said they would set aside money from their paycheck to save on a routine basis. Building an emergency fund was a priority for 28 percent, and 27 percent said they would create a budget and stick to it.

Most Americans could manage money better

A personal finance study conducted by the ING Retirement Research Institute found that 94 percent of American’s understood they could do a better job managing their money. This finding was supported by data found in the Northwestern Mutual survey. Just 16 percent said they would update their financial plan. Only 12 percent made arrangements to work with a financial professional, and just 13 percent planned to re-balance their portfolio. The ING study classified respondents as either excellent, good, basic or poor in certain categories. Data showed that happiness increased with financial literacy, a category in which 62 percent of Americans were ranked as basic.

Time to walk the walk

The two personal finance surveys also showed that talk is easier than action. The Northwestern Mutual poll showed that very few Americans plan to evaluate their risk when it comes to life insurance, long-term care or disability. In the ING study, only 53 percent of Americans were saving for retirement.

Sources

Financial Planning

BusinessWire

Previous Article

« Jobless claims decline and trade deficit recedes

Jobless claims declined over the last month, and the trade deficit has also been reduced. These are good signs, but they indicate slow growth. Loading dock
Next Article

Oil prices spike as Gadhafi refuses to leave turmoil in Libya »

Unrest in Libya caused oil prices to spike and stocks to slide. Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi refuses to leave, despite escalating violence. Muammar Gaddafi

This post has one comment

  1. Clay Ivy says:

    You are so right about needing to take action. A budget or investing plan is worthless if you don't execute it. It is not just knowlege that is important. It is the application of knowledge.

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

Leave a Reply

Other recent posts by bryanh

You might need online payday loans after the Florida oil spill

If the Florida Oil Spill robbed you of a paycheck or upped your gas bill, recover with online payday loans. Do not wait for more disaster...
Online payday loans may come in handy with the Florida oil spill.

After the Bank Bailout, What’s Next?

Banks are now being asked to return the favor they had asked for a year ago, with increased lending to businesses and homeowners.
The recession credit freeze is thawing. Will banks who deigned to borrow money repay those bailouts?

Instant Approval Doesn’t Always Mean Cash Now

Consumers looking for cash now won’t always find it with “instant approval” credit cards.