33% Scared of Their Bank Statements

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NEW YORK (MainStreet) – Americans may be committed to improving their personal finances in 2011, but they’ll need to start by opening their bank statements.

A survey released Tuesday by Country Financial found that a third (32.9%) of all Americans reported being “too scared” to check their balance on a bank statement at least once in 2010. Women were particularly statement-phobic, with 37% admitting that they couldn’t bear the sight of their balance.

What’s most striking, though, is how little people’s personal finance habits have improved as the economy stumbles through a slow recovery. The percentage of Americans reporting that they don’t keep a household budget has dropped to 49% from a similar survey conducted in July 2008 that put the number at 51%. 

The good news is that people are at least saying that they want to change. Survey respondents listed debt reduction and increased savings as their top priorities for the coming year, which echoes a previous study that found Americans resolving to save more in 2011.

Still, we all know that there’s a big difference between resolving to do things differently and actually following through. The first step is admitting you have a problem … And that starts with opening up your bank statement.

—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at BankingMyWay.com.

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