Survey reveals Americans struggling with credit card debt, savings

Survey reveals Americans struggling with credit card debt, savings

More and more Americans are having serious money problems with nearly zero savings and mounting credit card debt, but there are guidelines to follow to get back on track.

The latest survey by

focuses on two key areas of your money, and which amount is larger: credit card debt and emergency savings. Of course, we all hope the savings is bigger, but for some, it's not.

Via Skype, 19 Action News reporter Dan DeRoos spoke with Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.
"Americans are in good shape from a financial security stand point. They're feeling as if they're making progress. The one are where they're not making progress or making very little progress, is in regard to savings," says McBride.
In their latest survey of 1,003 people, the good news is 58 percent of them say they have more in their emergency savings than they owe in credit
card debt. The problem is, 24 percent say it's the opposite, and have more in credit card debt. Those who have saved the least, Generation X, are now between the ages of 30 and 49.

"That's not a big surprise, considering that those are the years of raising a family. So you've got the mortgage, the car payments, tuition
payments," explains McBride.
Part of the problem, according to McBride, is while the economy has improved greatly since the Great Recession, wages have stayed the
"People often ask me whether they should focus on building up their savings or paying off their credit card debt, as if it's an either or proposition. My answer to that is do both," advises McBride.
It may hurt, but finding a way to do both is necessary, and it must be done at the beginning of your paycheck.

"If you wait until the end of the month and try to save what's left over to, often nothing is left over. So instead, you have to pay yourself first. Set up a direct deposit from your paycheck into a dedicated savings account."
So how much should be in your emergency savings? McBride says for multiple income families, it should be a minimum of what you need to live
on for six months. If you're on your own, or run your own business, you better increase that to nine to 12 months.

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