The $400 Question: Should Americans Feel Better About Their Finances?

The $400 Question: Should Americans Feel Better About Their Finances?

Quick: If you were hit with an unexpected $400 bill, what would you do?

Of course, we hope your fully-funded emergency account could cover it, no prob.

But according to new research, a shocking number of people would say otherwise.

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In fact, a Federal Reserve Board survey found that nearly half—47%—of Americans say they would have to resort to racking up debt or selling something to deal with that sudden expense.

Unfortunately, the report revealed that Americans seem to be struggling in other money areas, as well.

To start, just 56% of people in the survey said they paid their credit card bill in full every month.

Meanwhile, retirement preparations seem to be equally shaky. While most Americans in the survey said they want to save for retirement, many of them are failing to do so: 39% of working respondents say they have given little or no thought to financial planning for their golden years.

Still, despite these sobering stats, American seem to actually be feeling better about their money. According to the survey, 65% of adults consider their families to be “doing okay” financially—likely thanks to news of a continually improving economy.

Plus, they have a pretty positive outlook about their future: the report found that Americans' optimism about their future financial prospects increased significantly this year.

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