If you’ve managed to make it through the past half-decade with your finances intact, you’re a member of a fortunate minority of Americans. As a result of the foreclosure crisis and the ensuing recession, many millions of American families are struggling to make ends meet. For most folks, the so-called economic recovery has been nothing but a mirage.
Recent reports from the Federal Reserve and the Consumer Federation of America paint a disturbing picture. According to the Consumer Federation, about 40 percent of American families live on a paycheck-to-paycheck basis.
In other words, nearly half of the country’s population teeters on the brink of insolvency. Just 30 percent of Americans are “financially comfortable” while nearly 70 percent expect to work past the traditional retirement age.
Worse, the typical middle class American family carries nearly $100,000 in total debt. These obligations may include mortgages, auto loans, student loans and high-interest credit card debts.
Given that the average American household earns less than $45,000 per year, this six-figure debt load is more than many families can handle.
The personal debt crisis that continues to sweep the United States shows no sign of abating. Despite a precipitous decline in household net worth between 2007 and the present, the average debt load of the typical American family has shrunk by just $1,000 during that time period.
The endless drip of bad economic news can be discouraging. Then again, no one is stopping you from taking charge of your personal finances. If you’re struggling to make ends meet and worried about staying current on your outstanding debts, there are some concrete steps that you can take to boost your bottom line and stay out of serious financial trouble.
You may benefit from speaking with a professional financial planner who can offer kernels of wisdom about your short-term savings habits and long-term retirement plans. Unfortunately, a Consumer Federation of America survey finds that more than half of all Americans lack faith in financial professionals of any sort. This may be why just 31 percent of American families maintain a comprehensive financial plan.
Buck this troublesome trend and begin planning for your future today. Your financial planner can help you set up a tax-deferred retirement account and provide valuable advice about stocks, bonds and other investment vehicles. They may also be able to set you up with a surprisingly affordable cash-value life insurance policy that delivers a consistent rate of return.
To grow your savings even faster, consider taking on a part-time or freelance job that supplements your earnings from your current full-time occupation.
If you enjoy writing, graphic design or programming, you may be able to earn a comfortable extra income by taking advantage of the Internet’s boundless freelance opportunities. If you prefer interacting with folks in the real world, consider taking on a temporary job at a call center or working at the front desk of a local hotel or department store. Regardless of its source, you can use your secondary income to pay off your unsecured debts on an accelerated timetable.
Unfortunately, careful financial planning and income-boosting extra work may not be enough to slow or stop the growth of your debts. There’s no shame in seeking professional help for a truly out-of-control debt problem.
Debt Consolidation USA is committed to providing the debt relief that you so desperately need. Its powerful program of debt consolidation can reduce your debt burden in as little as 24 to 48 months. To learn more about what Debt Consolidation USA can do for you, call or fill out the free online form today.