Americans have found ways to take control of their household finances, even in tough economic times.
Still, a recent survey of "Household CFOs"- individuals in charge of managing family finances - found that two out of three households in the U.S. do not have an emergency savings account. Analysts say that could put them at financial risk in the event of a crisis.
Additionally, nearly one in three households has not prepared a will, purchased insurance of any kind or made other preparations for a significant life-changing event. Yet, almost half of those surveyed have already experienced some sort of financial setback within their household in the past year.
The survey was conducted by Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS), a national, nonprofit credit counseling agency.
In response to survey findings and current economic conditions, the group is launching a national financial awareness campaign, "Household CFO." It is also enhancing its CredAbilityU online education program, which offers free interactive Webinars and financial management tools.
The organization provides confidential budget counseling, money management education, debt management programs, bankruptcy counseling and education, and comprehensive housing counseling to individuals nationwide.
"The credit and foreclosure crisis has shed light on the serious financial issues faced by many American families," said Mechel Glass, director of education for CCCS.
"In today's economy, many Household CFOs feel like they have too much on their plate or aren't equipped to make long-term financial plans. They often become overwhelmed with paying bills, managing accounts and overseeing spending. And now, the increased cost of groceries and gas has led many families to the verge of financial crisis."
Glass recommends the following free resources to help families take charge of their financial future:
*Household CFO campaign site, www.HouseholdCFO.org
*Consumer advocate Ilyce Glink's site, www.ThinkGlink.com
*Credit score-reporting site, www.MyFico.com
*Free credit report site, www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
We say if any of these measures assist families in taking charge of their financial futures, have at them!