Being in denial about money matters can make a bad situation worse.
Most Americans feel today's economy is riskier than the one their parents faced a generation ago. And the recession seems to be proving them correct. At the same time, the majority of those on Main Street think they’re doing pretty OK managing their money.
A whopping 93% of those surveyed say they’re doing a fair job or better at managing their economic and financial opportunities and risks, according to the Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor (Stock Quote: ALL), a series of surveys on how folks are dealing with personal finance issues.
Only 5% of the 1,200 polled said they’re doing a poor job.
The disparities with reality (um, that recession we noted above) are notable.
Sure, some consumers are making changes: 34% said they’ve cut back on wasteful spending and 22% have taken steps to live within their budgets. But it appears denial runs deep. Only 5% of respondents said credit card debt concerned them most—but the average credit card debt per household with a card was $10,679 at the end of 2008, according to a recent Nilson Report.
Are We Being Honest About Money Matters?
Same country, same consumers, different picture: In another survey, more than one in four respondents admitted they didn’t pay all of their bills on time. (This was part of the 2009 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey conducted for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.)
And about 13 million adults have been contacted by debt collectors, are seriously considering filing for bankruptcy, or have already done so within the past three years, according to the survey. One third of adults say they have no savings whatsoever, according to the survey.
About 41% of adults gave themselves a grade of C, D, or F on their knowledge of personal finance, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling survey.