Consumer Watch: Tackling debt and saving money are becoming more difficult

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by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on February 27, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 27 at 6:21 PM

(WHAS11) -- High gas prices, rising food costs and a host of other personal expenses can be obstacles to Americans putting more money away for the future.

A little more than half of those recently surveyed by the Consumer Federation of America- 54 percent- say they have a savings plan with specific goals. Forty-three percent say they have a budget that allows them to save enough money to achieve those goals.

A separate survey of Americans' personal finances conducted by Bankrate.com found that for one in four Americans, credit card debt is greater than what they have in the bank.

"The problem that a lot of households are confronting now is that their expenses continue to creep higher and their income is not. And it just makes it that much more difficult to make progress on things like savings and debt repayment," says Bankrate.com Sr. Financial Analyst Greg McBride.

One approach to tackling that debt: pay off the debt with the highest interest first and get a plan in place to cut down debt but still set aside any regular amount of money in savings.

If you have a consumer issue you'd like us to look into, send an email to consumerwatch@whas11.com

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