Note: This article first appeared at NerdWallet.com. Click here to read the original.
Americans say they feel good about their finances, but many aren’t actually doing what they should to make sure their financial future is bright.
Those are findings based on the National Foundation for Credit Counseling’s (NFCC) 2015 Financial Literacy Survey. The survey, conducted by the Harris Poll, was released this week by NerdWallet and the NFCC.
Among the survey’s more than 2,000 adult respondents, 92 percent said they are either very or somewhat confident in their most recent big financial decision, such as picking a credit card, buying a car or financing a home.
Nearly two out of three (59 percent) said they deserve an “A” or “B” for their financial knowledge.
But, at the same time, nearly 70 percent said they are currently worried about their finances. A full 60 percent said they spend money each month without a budget, and more than one in five (21 percent) say they are spending more than they did in 2014.
While 57 percent of Americans are saving for their retirement and 66 percent maintain non-retirement savings, 28 percent of Americans are worried that they do not have enough savings.
Student-loan debt emerged as a particularly prickly problem for many respondents.
Among those currently repaying student debt for themselves or their children, most (58 percent) said they’re unable to set up emergency or retirement savings accounts or buy a car because of the financial commitment to the loans. Only 6 percent who took out student loans felt they were a good investment, and more respondents said they would advise against student loans (11 percent) than would recommend them (7 percent).
“Many Americans are spending their adult lives slowly chipping away at a mountain of student loan debt only to find themselves approaching retirement later in life with little or no savings,” said Susan C. Keating, president and chief executive of the NFCC. “The stakes are too high for consumers to let misplaced confidence get in the way of sound financial decisions.”
There were some rays of hope in respondents’ answers about credit-card management.