Beat the Averages When It Comes to Debt and Savings

How do you match up to the averages when it comes to managing your money?

Zions Bank Aug 28, 2017

How do you match up to the averages when it comes to managing your money?

  • 57% of Americans don’t have enough saved to cover a $500 emergency.
  • The average couple has $5,000 saved for retirement. 
  • The average household student loan debt is $49,000.
  • The average household auto loan debt is $28,000.
  • The average household credit card debt is $16,000.

There can be good reasons to get a student loan, car loan, or other loan, but one thing is clear: If you are spending a large amount of your money paying back debts year after year after year, you have that much less money to add to savings.

Since 2003, Zions Bank has supported community classes attended by people who are interested in eliminating needless debt and increasing savings for emergencies and retirement. We selected the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University program because it focuses on getting people to replace poor money habits with good money habits — things like actually following a budget that works, agreeing to a spending plan with your family, and controlling impulse purchases.

Back when we started supporting these classes, Dave Ramsey was a lot less well-known, even though he had been teaching people about money for more than 10 years. He was proud of the fact that 40,000 people had attended his personal finance class. Now that number has ballooned to nearly 5 million nationwide and more than 60,000 just in Utah and Idaho. His personal finance books dominate the bestsellers list and his national radio show is the third-most popular in the country.

Hundreds of Zions Bank employees have attended this nine-week program over the years. A survey last year revealed that the average employee participant in Financial Peace University has been able to reduce debt by an average of $17,100 and increase savings by an average of $22,900. Because their finances are in better shape, about half of them have been able to increase their 401(k) contributions by an average of 3.8% of salary. This could result in a big increase to retirement savings.

What’s keeping you from achieving similar results? There is nothing magic about achieving this type of turnaround. Anyone can do it — anyone who acquires the right kind of habits, that is — the habits taught in Financial Peace University.

There are dozens of Financial Peace University classes starting throughout Utah and Idaho in September. Any one lesson is free. A lifetime household membership is only $105 and can be paid at the first class.


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