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Americans say they have a number of bad financial habits, but new research has found the worst of those habits is not saving enough money.
In all, 30 percent of Americans say they did not save any money and the same number also admit to spending too much on things they didn’t need. Nearly one in four respondents also say they did not save as much as they could while an additional 18 percent say they spent more than they made. Other common financial mistakes included not having a budget, paying bills late and not educating themselves about financial planning.
Ten percent of respondents also say that they only make the minimum payment on credit cards, while 9 percent say they play the lottery or gamble. Despite the numerous challenges, 9 percent of Americans say that they do not seek professional help with their finances.
Americans were also worried by several other financial issues that were out of their control. In particular, 44 percent of Americans said that unemploymentwas their top economic concern of the past year. That number, however, was down slightly from 48 percent of Americans who had unemployment as their top concern in 2011.
The fiscal cliff was another big concern for a number of Americans. In all, 31 percent of respondents say they were worried about the approaching fiscal cliff as the top economic concern of the past year. Americans also say they are worried about the housing market, the stock market and the European debt crises.
"Americans want Uncle Sam to address the economic issues that are affecting the country’s finances, yet it’s troubling that they’re guilty of many of the same poor spending and savings habits themselves," said Katie Libbe, vice president of consumer insights for Allianz Life, which conducted the research. "It’s our hope that discussion about these topics will prompt more Americans to take action to secure their own financial future."
The research was a part of the 2012 Bad Financial Habits Survey and was based on the responses of 1,000 people.