Money

Lack of income is one of two main reasons more Americans don't save—this is the other

It isn't always easy to save, especially when you don't have the enough money coming in. In fact, 35 percent of Americans say lack of income is a main reason they aren't saving more.

That's according to a national survey from Discover of more than 2,000 adults. But data shows there's another reason Americans aren't saving: They simply don't know how. About 35 percent say they don't know which product or account to use to start saving.

In addition, 17 percent of respondents say they don't have a reason for not saving, another 17 percent aren't saving thanks to outstanding bills and 10 percent point to their debt.

The findings jive with other recent news: A survey of more than 8,000 Americans found nearly 60 percent of respondents have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts, while another survey found only 39 percent of Americans have enough savings to cover a $1,000 emergency.

Some Americans are managing to save, though. Charles Schwab tracked how 1,000 Americans aged 21 to 75 handle their money and found that young people are better at managing their finances than Baby Boomers and those in Generation X.

Regardless of age, "it is important to remember that consumers should save at all points in their lives," says Heather Roche, vice president of Deposits at Discover, in the survey. "People should start saving early in life and stay consistent in that practice."

Millennials are generally on the right track. Discover found that 81 percent are currently saving in some capacity, compared to 77 percent of Boomers and 74 percent of those in Gen X. About 35 percent of millennials even say they saved more in 2017 than in 2016.

Of millennials who saved more in 2017, 40 percent attribute the increase to a better understanding of how to set up a budget and 26 percent say they cut out a recurring expense.

Millennials are more likely than their Boomer and Gen X peers to put money aside when they are saving for a specific goal, like a vacation or auto repair. They're also more likely to trim overall expenses by taking public transportation, biking or carpooling.

According to a new Bank of America survey, one in six millennials now has $100,000 stashed away.

Still, "we understand that saving can sometimes feel daunting," says Roche, so "doing research into the types of accounts you're looking for is a great place to start."

Consider opening an interest-earning account, as opposed to saving in a standard checking account. And set some goals to track your savings, perhaps monthly milestones.

When Phil Risher, a customer service rep making $48,000 per year, came up with a plan to save more of his income, he was able to pay off $30,000 in student loans in one year.

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