Savings and debt

It’s certainly easy for two people to look at those words together and have an altogether different mindset regarding them.

That viewpoint depends entirely upon personal circumstances, of course. Some people in Mississippi and elsewhere are happily able to simultaneously save money and hammer away at their debt in an appreciable way. A few fortunate people amass savings and have no debt.

For others, though, the financial picture is cloudier and a bit more complex. Some people essentially break even, saving little or nothing and also owing only a negligible amount or keeping creditors at bay entirely.

And then are those who, as a consumer financial services company notes in a report on household savings and debt, “are teetering on the edge of financial disaster.”

That is a slippery slope, for sure, and not a precipice from which any rational consumer wants to be hanging.

Unfortunately, that is reportedly where about three of every eight Americans find themselves these days, with nearly one-quarter of all consumers being in the red.

That means this: Their credit card balance is higher than their debit balance in any emergency account.

And while it seems a bit more positive to state that close to 60 percent of Americans do have more liquid assets on hand than they do credit card debt, that happy statistic doesn’t look quite so salutary when flipped on its face.

Stated another way, scores of millions of Americans are either at a break-even point or floundering financially in negative territory.

By various indications, the economy is improving nationally as it continues to claw back from the Great Recession.

Clearly, though, there is a strong need for higher levels of growth and prosperity.

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