Consumer watch: Time to save

(CNN) - A new survey finds Americans still facing challenges when it comes to savings. And while a majority are saving some money, they still don't feel like they're saving enough.

One-third of Americans surveyed by the Consumer Federation of America and American Savings Education Council as part of "America Saves Week," said they're making "good" or "excellent" progress toward personal savings goals, while 63 percent characterize their progress as "fair" or "none."

In many cases, debt gets in the way. An analysis by the personal finance website Nerdwallet finds the average American household carries more than $15,000 in credit card debt, more than $32,000 in student loan debt, and just under $150,000 on a mortgage.

To get Americans building savings, the consumer groups suggest setting a goal - whether its short term like building an emergency fund, or long term like retirement or a child's college education - and calculating how long it will take to reach that goal.

Setting aside a small amount is better than nothing at all. Have funds automatically deposited from each paycheck into a savings account. And if a tax refund is on the way this spring, that's a good way to get the savings started.

For more information about the study, check out NerdWallet's website.


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