Feb 26, 2018

Question of the Day: What percent of Americans spend more than they earn?

Answer: 54%


  1. Do you think people who have a volatile income find it easier or tougher to budget for their expenses? Explain your answer.
  2. What do you think causes people to spend beyond their means?
    1. What are three ways they can start to remedy this?
  3. How do you think a person’s spending habits impact their ability to save?
  4. What are some consequences of spending more than you earn?

Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.

Behind the numbers (from Experian State of Credit 2017)

A Pew study found that just 46% of Americans earn more than they spend every month, suggesting that’s true for a majority of Americans. That means increased likelihood that bills won’t be paid.


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About the Authors

Danielle Bautista

Danielle is a native of Southern California and a recent graduate from the University of Maine, where she braved the frigid winters—a feat in and of itself—and earned her Bachelor's degree in International Affairs. She has a passion for working with non-profit organizations and serving populations in underprivileged communities. When Danielle isn't writing NGPF blog posts, spearheading various outreach projects, or managing contests and flash surveys, you can find her doing some sort of outdoor activity, learning a new hobby, or cracking what she thinks are witty puns!

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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