September 23, 2016
Experian partnered with top personal financial bloggers exploring a variety of topics in national survey leading up to FinCon 2016
San Diego, Calif., September 21, 2016 — Kicking off the world’s largest financial content expo, FinCon 2016, Experian® — together with eight bloggers — announced the findings from a nationwide consumer survey that covers the gamut of personal finance topics. What did we learn?
Many of the survey questions were submitted by the following bloggers: Amanda Abella of AmandaAbella.com, Elle Martinez of Couple Money, Toni Husbands of Debt Free Divas, Katie O’Conner of Get Rich Slowly, Andrew Schrage of Money Crashers, Tonya Rapley of My Fab Finance, Whitney Hansen of WhitneyHansen.com and David Carlson of Young Adult Money. Their contributions reflected the pressing issues and concerns voiced by readers.
We hear from our readers every day about their financial hopes and realities, so it was fascinating to see many of those same themes reflected in a large, national survey, said Katie Ryan O’Connor, who helps edit the popular personal finance blog Get Rich Slowly. While many Americans responding to the survey said they felt more secure in their finances than last year (43 percent), a majority (58 percent) said they felt the same or even less secure than before. In a time of economic recovery and expansion, this is something we all need to pay attention to – whether as bloggers, financial educators, neighbors or policy makers. We are all in this together.
Positive findings included that 64 percent of survey respondents feel very or somewhat confident in their ability to reach their financial goals, and 53 percent are confident they will pay off their student loans on time. Seventy-six percent reported they have not paid any credit card late fees in the past year.
The survey points to a few very encouraging trends in personal finance. For instance more than half of the respondents create a monthly budget and 69% say they use the budget to control spending. Managing your personal finances by regularly creating a budget is essential for anyone interested in paying off debt, said Toni Husbands of Debt Free Divas.
However, some unsettling findings from the survey include that nearly half of respondents (49 percent) have credit card debt and 46 percent have less savings today than they expected they would five years ago. Furthermore, 39 percent say they have a hard time finding financial education resources, 71 percent report being behind on their retirement savings and more than half (54 percent) believe they will never pay off their debt fully.
While some consumers are on a good path with their finances, others are struggling. The best way to improve your situation is to become more educated about managing money and debt, adds Rod Griffin, director of public education at Experian. That is why resources like personal finance blogs are so beneficial. You can read timely information and real life stories from experts and peers on everything from understanding credit to learning how to invest.
Additional survey highlights
Budgeting and spending:
Savings and investing:
Money management among spouses: