Infographic: America Saves Less

Last Updated Jun 29, 2011 11:25 AM EDT

Sad news in this infographic from BillShrink.com, an internet company that provides consumers with comparisons of credit cards, phone calling plans and other everyday services. To wit: The amount of money that we Americans have in savings has actually declined in the past few years as has the amount we intend to set aside each month.

BillShrink speculates that the hellacious economy hasn't done anything to make us thriftier. I'm not sure about that. After all, we have shaved our collective credit card balances to about $790 billion in April, down $180 billion since August 2008. The ratio of non-mortgage consumer debt to disposable income is at a 15-year low of 20.7%, according to IHS Global Insight. My feeling is that times are so tough people have been drawing down their savings -- and postponing savings -- merely to make ends meet. In 2010, in fact, nearly one in seven workers borrowed from 401(k) plans, according to human-resources consulting group AON Hewitt.

Anyway, BillShrink does offer some tips on saving below and suggests people use its free gas-savings tool, which I tried. (It works, and better yet, I learned that the horrible station with mean attendants closest to my place does NOT have the lowest-cost gas; so I no longer have to go there!) Maybe you can put their ideas to work to downsize your own debts and to plump up the nestegg.

America Saves

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