News and information from our partners

Everyday Cheapskate: Americans are not saving at a greater rate than ever

We Americans are bent on spending, and that is supposed to be a good thing. It drives our economy. When spending is down the outlook is bleak. When it’s up, economic-types are giddy with joy. And now it seems our spending is too much of a good thing because Americans on average are saving only a pittance, while more than half are saving nothing at all. In fact, those Americans are not saving at a greater rate than they have not saved in the past 74 years.

It means you don’t save money you never had in the first place. Or you spend all you have plus the money you had managed to save.

Failing to save is at the least stupid and at the most quite dangerous. I know, we live in a world with plenty of plastic and big companies telling us not to worry about emergencies. That’s why God created credit cards we’re told—to be there when things go wrong and we’ve failed to prepare.

The only reason that credit card issuers want us to believe we need credit cards just in case of emergency is because it stands to make them very rich when we buy into it. If we depend on them rather than our self-sufficiency, they get insanely rich.

So, you can’t afford to save? Then you can’t afford to eat or drive to work or buy stuff for your kids.

Saving isn’t optional in my world. It’s mandatory. It takes character and commitment.

Believe it or not, you can open a savings account at an online bank such as or with one dollar. These savings banks have no minimum requirements and no fees. You should do this. Then you should add a dollar tomorrow and the next day, too. And five bucks on payday. And ten bucks the following week. Soon you’ll be addicted to saving. Not a bad condition provided you are paying your bills.

Mary Hunt is founder of


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment


Information from The Chronicle and our advertisers (Want to add your business to this to this feed?)