Knowing you aren't saving enough for retirement isn't a great feeling, but at least you are not alone.
A full 71 percent of Americans say they are behind on their retirement savings and more than half, 54 percent, believe they will never pay off their debt fully, according to a new national survey commissioned by Experian together with Get Rich Slowly and other top U.S. personal finance blogs. Entering retirement with a large debt load is risky, experts say, and older consumers are carrying more debt -- mortgage, credit card, even student loans -- into their retirement years than ever before, according to data by the Consumer Financial Protection Board.
So, you've decided to enact some savings strategies.
You've banned takeout, swapped all venti fat-free lattes for the trusty Mr. Coffee at home, staged the yard sale, cut the cable, dropped the landline, raised your insurance deductibles, brown bagged every single lunch for months, and ... plan to limit the A/C all sweatin'-summer long.
"Gap years" are nothing new, but it was still pretty surprising when the most watched college decider in the nation - Malia Obama - elected to defer her entrance to Harvard University.
My immediate reaction as the mother of a high school freshman was...pretty impressed. It's never an easy decision to go against the grain of expectations and most 17- or 18-year-old's reaction to a Harvard acceptance letter would be so long folks, hello Cambridge.
But if you have the chance to combine a year of travel or work with a temporary break from the high school pressure machine of the last four years, why not? I bet most of my fellow Gen X'ers would crumble under the workload expected of today's American high school student. (Stream the movie "Dazed and Confused" to remind yourself of what high school expectations used to be.)
It's hard enough to say no to ourselves when it comes to unnecessary spending -- getting that $4.35 latte just because, for example. So why is it always such a surprise when we lose battles against the everyday wants (not needs) of our very determined and savvy children?
If this sounds familiar, you aren't alone.
Academics and mental health professionals agree that parental feelings about money color how we deal with our children's requests and expectations. One 2014 study by researchers at North Carolina State University and the University of Texas found that parents would talk to kids about saving and budgeting but not about the actual state of family finances. This puts kids at a disadvantage when it comes to smart money management.
This article started out as the individual experience of one personal finance blogger as he successfully haggled with his cable company to reduce his bill by 33% back in 2009. Unfortunately, that sinking feeling you are overpaying for services such as cable is still alive and well in 2016.
But other things have changed dramatically. In 2009, Netflix was still known by many as the company with the red and white DVD sleeves that came in the mail. Hulu didn't launch until 2007. Was there life before Amazon Prime? Not sure.
So if you are here to find out how to cut the cord with cable entirely, take these exact steps (in 2016). If you'd like to see how you can keep cable but pay less thanks to this great post by blogger G.E. Miller, jump to Cheaper Cable TV