NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Do you have Nordstrom bookmarked on your Web browser? Have any gambling chips from casinos you visited years ago sitting on your dresser?
A new study examines some unique ways that Americans are blocking themselves out of financial growth.
That’s just the appetizer. Overall U.S. consumer debt stood at $2.5 trillion at the end of 2011, the Federal Reserve adds.
What can consumers do to stem the tide of all that debt?
Two New York Times best-selling authors have a new study out that shines a spotlight on the “unique” ways Americans trip themselves up on the way to financial prosperity.
The study, released on Tuesday by financial authors Joseph Grenny and Loral Langemeier, concludes that since 2007, three out of five American adults have failed to meet their financial goals. Even worse, the authors state, 76% of U.S. adults are “doing little to change their financial behavior”.
At first glance, that statement seems unfair.
Sure, millions of Americans would love to downsize and sell their homes, for example, but many are underwater on their homes, and are waiting out a housing recovery before they sell, so they can at least make a profit. Plus, the U.S. government reports that 12.7 million Americans are officially unemployed, with tens of millions more who have stopped looking for work, or who can only fund part-time jobs. In many cases, it’s all the jobless can do to survive, let alone start mending their errant financial ways.
But the authors do make a fair point -- that some of those “ugly scars” that Americans have suffered financially during the past five years have been self-inflicted, so much so that the study says only 6% of Americans are on track to save enough for retirement.
In fact, the authors state five ways that Americans hurt their own cause in terms of financial growth – and in ways that consumers may not even realize.