Many people want to believe that the economy is getting stronger every day. And, some data has shown improvement in the economy since the end of the recession. However, many Tennessee residents are still struggling to meet their financial obligations each month.

According to a new study by The National Foundation for Credit Counseling, on average, families have 5.7 credit cards and are averaging more than $17,000 in credit card debt. In many cases, this means that for every two dollars a family takes home, they have one dollar in debt. This has put a huge burden on many families — including families in Tennessee. In particular so called “modern families” — that is same sex couples, single parents and multi-generational homes — have been hard hit by financial challenges.

As a result of the large amount of debt, many families are not able to save money for emergency situations. According to the report, 32 percent of U.S. parents did not have an emergency savings fund set up. Without adequate savings, people can face even greater financial challenges should the unexpected — including job loss or a medical emergency — hit.

Tennessee consumers that are facing these difficult circumstances may be wondering how to obtain some debt management or debt relief. In many cases, people may contemplate bankruptcy as a way to achieve a fresh start. By getting a handle on their finances people may be able to put money into retirement accounts and improve their long-term financial stability. People should make sure to explore all their debt management options before making a decision, especially since it can have such a long-lasting effect.

Source: The Republic, “Poor money skills, not jobs, now top reason to seek help,” Russ Wiles, May 24, 2014