It’s financial literacy month, so search engine Google has released its list of the most-Googled personal finance questions, including the questions they get on saving money.
The No. 1 “how to save for” question Google got over the past year (in the US from March 2018 to March 2019): How to save for a house.
And it makes sense, seeing as how the homeownership rate in America — meaning the proportion of owner-occupied households — has been on the decline for roughly the past 15 years and now fewer than two in three Americans owns a home.
Add to that the fact that roughly three in four Americans who don’t currently own a home say they want to own a home — and you can see why saving for a home is such a popular question for Google.
At the same time, half of Americans who have pursued buying a home say they’ve faced barriers, according to a survey released in April by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Cost is the biggest thing — with the No. 1 barrier being rising home prices and the No. 2 barrier being lack of savings for a down payment or closing costs, the survey revealed.
Indeed, in 2018, prices rose nearly six percent from the prior year — and many predict there’s more price appreciation to come; some markets have hit record high prices. And as home prices rise, down payment requirements from lenders — which are typically a percentage of the purchase prices — also rise.
Plus, “saving for a home can be an especially challenging goal, because other needs like student loan debt or paying down credit cards demand more urgent attention,” adds certified financial planner Bobbi Rebell, host of the Financial Grownup podcast and co-host of the Money in the Morning. Indeed, student loan debt hit a record high in 2018, as did credit card debt.
Top 10 “how to save for” questions people asked Google in the past year
How to save for a house
How to save for retirement
How to save for a car
How to save for college
How to save for a wedding
How to save for a down payment
How to save for an apartment
How to save for a vacation
How to save for kids college
How to save for retirement at 40
Source: NY Post