living within your means en-US Your Saving Habits Make You a Revolutionary <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/your-saving-habits-make-you-a-revolutionary" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="piggy bank" title="piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="175" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It&rsquo;s true, Wise Bread reader &mdash; you&rsquo;re a revolutionary. Although you may not know it or feel like it every day, your money-saving ways and consumer consciousness put you in the distinguished company of rebels and renegades. At a time when our society is awash in chronic debt, you&rsquo;re swimming against the tide of easy consumer credit, bucking the trend of living beyond your means, and breaking the cycle of perpetual wanting. Congratulations. (See also: <a href="">30 Signs That You Were Raised by&nbsp;Frugal Parents</a>)</p> <p>Still not feeling like a revolutionary? Missing the funny hat? Well, consider these facts and then think about how they <em>don&rsquo;t</em> (or for the newbies here, soon <em>won&rsquo;t</em>) apply to you.</p> <p>1. In 2010, the average consumer debt per person in the United States was $7,800.00.</p> <p>2. According to the credit reporting agency TransUnion, the average credit card debt per US card holder was $4,996.00 in 2012.</p> <p>3. In a <a target="_blank" href="">November 2012 study by NerdWallet</a>, for those U.S. households that have credit card debt, the average amount owed was $15,422.00. That equates to about $7,000.00 for every household in the US.</p> <p>4. Again, from the same NerdWallet Study, 47% of all U.S. households carry a credit card balance.</p> <p>5. According to a <a target="_blank" href="">recent article by Motley Fool writer Molly McCluskey</a>, the average student loan debt in the US is $23,000. In 2011, for the first time, Americans owed more on student loans overall than they owed on their credit cards.</p> <p>6. In that same article by The Motley Fool, today, the average American carries a total debt of $47,000.00.</p> <p>7. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that the average savings rate (as a percentage of income) in the U.S. hovered around 4%.</p> <p>8. According to a study by the American Research Group, with results published in <a target="_blank" href="">an article by Investopedia,</a> the average American spent $646.00 on holiday gifts in 2011. Though the numbers aren&rsquo;t in yet for 2012, forecasters expect the average figure to be $854 per person.</p> <p>9. According to a <a target="_blank" href="">2012 survey completed by the Employee Benefits Research Institute</a>, 61% of respondents aged 35-44 reported having <a href="">saved less than $25,000 for retirement</a>. For those aged 55 or older, 40% had saved less than $25,000.</p> <p>10. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2011 the average <a target="_blank" href="">American spent $2620.00 on dining out</a>.</p> <p>While the facts are sobering, I don't want to paint everyone&rsquo;s circumstances and motivations with the same broad bush. No doubt these numbers reflect some families who have little choice in suspending savings and using consumer credit just to survive.</p> <p>But the sheer magnitude of these national statistics shows that debt, over-spending, and under-saving are still quite a large part of our culture &mdash; regardless of circumstance.</p> <p>Periodic recessions notwithstanding, our habits are set, and those habits involve the heavy use of credit combined with razor-thin savings rates. Anyone who defies this way of thinking and living can confidently call themselves a revolutionary. Anyone who fights overconsumption, shops for the best value, <a href="">buys only when there&rsquo;s cash enough to pay for it outright</a>, and lives frugally is doing something akin to revolt &mdash; and what a welcome revolt it is. So, the next time you&rsquo;re feeling a bit dragged down with budgeting or wiped out from pinching pennies, take a look at those statistics and revel again in being a revolutionary.</p> <p><em>Do you have a renegade's attitude when it comes to spending and saving? In what other ways do you think frugality is a revolutionary idea these days?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Goal Setting: Getting Out of Debt Once and For All</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">The Parable of The Flat-Screen TV</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">11 Ways Freelancers and Telecommuters Can Make Friends and Network</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">5 Money Conversations Every Couple Should Have</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">25 Hobbies You Can Start for Under $10</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle consumer debt living within your means revolution savings statistics Tue, 12 Feb 2013 11:00:31 +0000 Kentin Waits 967743 at