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Poll: Two-Thirds Of Americans Unsure How to Achieve Financial Stability

NFCC Financial Stability [1]A recent poll conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC [2]) showed that two-thirds of respondents showed uncertainty with regards how to achieve financial stability.

Sixty-six percent of respondents said that "I want financial stability, but don't know how to get there." Nearly one quarter of respondents (23 percent) said that "I don't think financial stability is attainable for me" while 8 percent said they were "confidently on their way toward financial stability." Only 3 percent responded that they were "already there" where financial stability is concerned.

"While it is encouraging to know that financial stability remains an important goal for consumers, it is deeply concerning that so many are unclear about how to reach that objective," said Bruce McClary, spokesperson for the NFCC. “With a few initial steps, most people could be on their way toward achieving what they had initially thought to be impossible."

NFCC recommends that the keys to financial stability are being organized and keeping goals in view. In order to establish a starting point toward financial stability, conduct a thorough review of your current income and spending after tracking it for 30 days. That, NFCC said, will give you a clear picture of where you stand – how close you are to (or how far away you are from) achieving financial stability, and what you need to do in order to attain (or maintain) it.

Lack of savings and unmanageable debt are two obstacles from achieving financial stability, according to NFCC. The foundation recommends making savings a top priority by setting aside 10 percent of each paycheck for savings on a regular basis as well as keeping credit card debt below 30 percent of the available credit limit and keeping consumer debt payments within 20 percent of monthly income.

"The key is to shrink your debt and grow your savings," McClary said. "The less debt you have in your way, the more control you have over reaching your financial goals."

The poll was conducted via the homepage of NFCC's website [2] from December 1 through 31, 2014. The poll was answered by 1,218 people.