In an article by Glen Curtis (Investopedia.com,) an interesting graph from US Bureau of Economic Analysis caught my attention. It’s a telling illustration of our floundering savings rate when the cost of living around us is skyrocketing.
Waking up to a world threatened by economic uncertainty and global recession, Americans are unable to save enough for the future. They have pressure from poor countries who ask them (plus their rich counterparts in the developed world) to share and redistribute wealth worldwide to stave off scarcity and famine.
But like Filipinos, Americans are aching in their pockets too. They don’t save as much money as before.
Burdened by impulse buying, house mortgages, and rising costs of credit card debts, the average personal savings rate of Americans is negative 0.5% in 2005, a time when they dug deep into their savings and spent all their incomes. This was close the worst savings rate in 1933 at the height of the Great Depression when savings rate plunged to negative 0.7%.
Today, the US income savings rate is about 0.5%, far short of the recommended 10%, to protect from unexpected money troubles in the future. According to experts, a savings below 5% of income brings serious possibility of financial ruin. They advise an allowance of at least 6 months of salary savings to cushion for any unforeseen change in our cash needs—unemployment, loss in natural disasters, illness, divorce, death in the family to name a few.
More belt-tightening is required of us to avoid becoming a bankruptcy casualty. We need to work harder and longer. It’s important to know where we are in our finances so we can make the needed corrections before our money situation worsens.=0=