Americans still struggling to save money

NEW YORK (CNN) – After scaling back in the wake of the recession, it appears Americans are back to their old ways. Consumer debt is climbing and for many households, debt outweighs savings.

A new survey finds Americans still facing challenges when it comes to savings. While a majority of people are saving some money, they still don’t feel like they’re saving enough.

One-third of Americans surveyed by the Consumer Federation of America and American Savings Education Council as part of “America saves week,” said they’re making “good” or “excellent” progress towards personal savings goals, while 63 percent characterize their progress as “fair” or “none.”

In many cases, debt gets in the way. An analysis by the personal finance website nerd wallet finds the average American household carries more than 15 thousand dollars in credit card debt, more than 32 thousand in student loan debt, and just fewer than 150 thousand on a mortgage.

To get Americans building savings, the consumer groups suggest setting a goal, whether its short term like building an emergency fund, or long term like retirement or a child’s college education and calculating how long it will take to reach that goal. Setting aside a small amount is better than nothing at all. Have funds automatically deposited from each paycheck into a savings account. Also, if a tax refund is on the way this Spring, that’s a good way to get the savings started.

Copyright 2014 CNN.

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