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.
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