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US financial situation doesn't appear to instill frugality

May 11, 2012 Sean Albert

The financial situation for U.S. consumers is one of tepid enthusiasm. While the credit market certainly favors consumers over businesses, debt levels are rising quickly. For debt collection agencies, the trend has led to an increase in service demands, but a broadened regulatory environment has made recovery efforts difficult. In a recent post for, Beverly Blair highlighted a few of the most striking statistics in personal finance. For one, 39 percent of U.S. consumers currently hold credit card debt, virtually unchanged from last year. Perhaps more shocking, a report from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association found more than half of Americans - 56 percent - currently do not have a budget. "Times are still really tough for a lot of people, and many are just trying to make ends meet," said Gerri Detweiler, director of consumer education at "But taking time to think about where your money goes - whether you call it a spending plan or a budget - can have a big payoff. That's true even if your income has been cut."