IN THEORY, money management should be easy. Finance experts like Dave Ramsey and Mary Hunt say it boils down to spending less than you earn and saving enough for retirement and a rainy day.
But in practice, people struggle to master managing their finances. As of December 2017, Americans collectively owed $13.15 trillion in debt, including $3.8 trillion in non-housing debts for credit cards, auto loans, student loans and other personal loans. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Center for Microeconomic Data, 2017 was the fifth consecutive year that household debt increased.
Meanwhile, 44 percent of those surveyed for a Federal Reserve System report issued last year said they wouldn’t be able to cover a $400 emergency expense without selling something or borrowing money.