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Wells Fargo: Americans struggle with saving

By David McMillin ·
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Posted: 2 pm ET

Stressed about your personal finance situation? You're not alone. A new study from Wells Fargo shows that 39 percent of Americans rank money as the biggest source of stress in their lives, and 33 percent are actually losing sleep worrying about their finances.

While it's clear that plenty of us think about money, the study shows that we don't like to actually talk about it. More than 1,000 respondents participated in the survey, and the majority of them would rather discuss death, religion, politics and taxes before talking about their saving and spending patterns.

Now, get ready for the most alarming statistic of the study. Those who are in poor or average financial health are twice as likely to update their Facebook profiles than they are to review their finances.

Karen Wimbish, director of retail retirement at Wells Fargo, recommends that these consumers log off and make budgeting and working toward a savings goal a priority.

"With money, there's a lack of understanding about the importance of designing a plan," Wimbish says. "Only a third of adults have some type of financial plan or a simple household budget in place, which means most Americans don't have the roadmap needed to improve their financial health."

Following that roadmap can feel overwhelming. However, in most cases, the most challenging part of saving is taking the first step to reveal what you need to change to put yourself on a better track toward financial success.

If you think you might need a wake-up call for your financial plan, I recommend Bankrate's delay savings calculator. The tool offers a simple preview of how much postponing your saving contributions can cost you in the long run.

Are you comfortable talking about money? Or, is your personal finance situation stressing you out so much that you would rather avoid the topic altogether?

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May 02, 2014 at 3:15 pm

This article is spot on. People don't get a financial education in school. People are not taught to save 10-20% of their income. If you are not saving and investing 10-20% of your income you are living beyond your means!

March 26, 2014 at 10:11 pm

Seventeen Trillion Dollars in Debt by our current Government. This certainly is not a good example for the rest of us. How can people save money when our own Government is going crazy with money it does not have. Five years of unemployment, low interest rates, and anti economy regulations is pushing us over the edge. How long does it take to turn things around for the average Joe. So far it is taking too long. Time to kick all of the Politicians OUT---starting at the top.

March 26, 2014 at 9:20 pm

I have to side with James comment! Wells Fargo is not trying to help anybody but themselves. I have been trying to save my family HOME since 2007 when salary was cut then 3 years later when they said I had to file chapter 7 to save home and ruin our credit and still no answers from Wells Fargo. They say they want to help but all they do is ask for request after request on information that if they would bother to look in file they would find at least 20 times. I think they just drag out until you either give up the fight or are so far behind the only way to save anything would be hit the lotto! My family and I are so disappointed with Wells Fargo we just don't know what the future holds but it wont be in a positive way I'm sure of that!

R A Miller
March 26, 2014 at 9:11 pm

It is called deregulation, where the rich win, and everybody else loses.

March 26, 2014 at 9:08 pm

What a lot of nerve. People with money problems are stupid? All of the planning in the world won't stop banks and theirs lawyers from feathering their own nests at our expense. Laughable.

March 26, 2014 at 8:41 pm

All my family life savings went to Wells Fargo to try and keep my home and vehicle. For three and one half years Wells Fargo would not work with me when I lost my job. Instead I lost both my vehicle and home. Survey that!

March 26, 2014 at 8:11 pm

This article totally ignores a huge problem. Simply, the interest rate that banks are paying on savings accounts, and even 5 year CD's, is laughable. Unless you have a million dollars to invest (who does), you are not going to make substantial money. Millions of retirees lost their shirts on 401K plans that tanked and stocks that crashed. I bought a 5 year jumbo CD in 2009, just when rates were starting to crash. It will expire in February. The best available interest rate now is only 1/5 of what I got, and it simply is not worth it; the money will go back into my checking account....if I'm not going to earn any real interest, at least it will be immediately available without penalty. I have 3 years until retirement, and am lucky enough to have a decent nest egg, but I can not grow it any more because rates are a joke. Interesting how the banks can still charge the same credit interest rates as before the economy tanked, though I will admit mortgage rates are good; the only break that they have given the consumer.