While about 10% of Americans in a recent Country Financial Survey say they're living within their means, twice as many say spending exceeds income most of the time. Keith Brannan is with the Bloomington-based company, he calls it a 'perception gap.' He says about 36% dip into savings to cover the shortfall
"Around 22 percent of the people that are actually using credit cards to cover those monthly shortfalls. Then you've also got this issue where you have to pay back that debt, that money's not going toward your long range planning. So, either of those works against whatever your long range goals are."
Only 14% of the 5,000 people in the survey say they're changing their spending to deal with the gap. Brannan says most families who struggle to stay within their budgets are raising children:
"In many cases we see folks with families adround 18% of the time rarely meeting their budget, and about 12% if them NEVER meeting their budget, so that's a pretty big number of people who're saying, 'hey I just can't get there."
Brannan says the best advice is to put some money, no matter what the amount, into a rainy day fund. He says that money can cover those shortfalls, and unexpected bills too.
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