Before you read, please note—this post is not for the faint at heart. Okay, you’ve been warned.
Americans are experiencing some real struggles in the area of personal finance. We have too much debt and too little savings. We spend more than we make. The result is some pretty terrifying money statistics. Here are three—
Scary Money Stat #1: 40% of Americans do not have enough cash to cover a $400 emergency. It’s recommended to have between 3 to 6 months of living expenses set aside for an emergency. And many Americans are nowhere close to those numbers. They are constantly living on the financial edge, viewing credit cards as their backup plan.
Scary Money Stat #2: In 2018, the amount of student loans INCREASED to $1.5 trillion. We are going in the wrong direction. The burden of student loan debt is well documented. Student loan debt has been linked to delays in homeownership, marriage, and parenthood. And though the consequences are well published, students continue to take on these loans to cover their education in an increasing fashion. Simply put—the student loan crisis is getting worse, not better. And student loan debt is not just a Millennial problem. Did you know that Gen X has the highest average student loan debt, almost $40,000?
Scary Money Stat #3: 33% of Americans have $0 saved for retirement (and 23% have saved between $1 and $10,000). Sixty-six percent of Millennials fall into the “having nothing saved for retirement” category. This means that 66% of Millennials are missing out on their most important retirement-saving years. Remember the formula, A Little Bit of Money + A Lot of Time = A Lot of Money.
If you can relate to any of these numbers, there is hope. You can turn things around. In the book, The Money Challenge: 30 Days of Discovering God’s Design for You and Your Money, I lay out how to get your finances on track for the sake of living and giving generously. You can do it. Don’t be another statistic.