Though people are feeling more positive about their financial prospects overall, many Americans are running just to stay in place. They prefer to keep current on today's bills or dig out of debt, which comes at the expense of saving for the future, a recent survey of financial priorities from Bankrate shows.
Fewer than 1 in 5 people, 18% of those surveyed, say that saving is their top financial priority. Only slightly more, 21%, are focused on paying down debt, but 38% of Americans say they are just trying to stay current on their bills.
This isn't a new development. "For the 4th consecutive year, staying current on living expenses or getting caught up on the bills is the runaway winner among Americans' highest financial priorities," says Greg McBride, CFA, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.