A friend told me about a study done showing that most Americans have next to nothing in their savings accounts.
The actual statistic: 69% have less than $1,000 and 34% have no savings at all.
In other words, if your savings account has more than a grand in it, you fall into the unbelievably small 21%.
This got me wondering, is this really all about unwise financial decisions? Or could it have something to do with the actual ability to save? Having worked my share of odd jobs myself (TV salesman, cashier, waiter, dishwasher), I know something about how challenging it can be, having certain levels of income, to actually save money.
Saving money is not just the act of putting money into a savings account. As far as I’ve seen, there is really one major factor: Time.
Though I can’t cite statistics, I know that car payments, rent, mortgage payments, food, fuel, utilities, and insurance of all kinds, are facts. Never mind any expenses that do not fall into insurance, or recreational expenses of any kind. In order to account for all of these things, it seems safe to conclude that every American below a certain income level must devote a fair amount of Time to, well, Working. (And unless you’re very lucky, your job is not perfectly aligned with your creative or Artistic talents or Vision.)
Ironically, some of the very activities needed to save money (cooking at home, minimizing travel, designing and keeping to a budget) can be hard-pressed to fit into Time that’s already spent Working.
Maybe these far-out numbers reflect a deeper problem than poor spending habits.