Personal finance is a significant topic in American society. From debt reduction to credit protection and investment fraud, the financial landscape has taken center stage over recent years as many people feel trapped between wanted to make good decisions for their financial future and trying to get through the day-to-day.

According to reports from the Federal Reserve, 70% of all consumers have at least one credit card. That comes out to roughly 174 million American adults. Further, many people believe that the country is moving towards being a cashless society. Between credit cards and online payment options, more and more people are not using cash in their daily lives. Paychecks are automatically deposited and bills are automatically drawn. Much of the work has been taken out of the systems that dictate personal finance.

The number of people who fully finance their homes has also increased over recent decades. According to one report compiled by the National Association of Realtors Home Buyers and Seller Generational Trends, 98% of buyers who are 36 years of age or younger have financed their homes. While there are many benefits to financing a home mortgage, it increases the overall debt, which can create problems down the road.

Younger adults are in more debt than previous generations while also making approximately 20% less money than previous generations. This has created a tense situation that many believe will only be solved with an increase in minimum wage. However, financial problems are often far more complex than simply needing to infuse more money into the situation.

Mobile banking apps and options have allowed people track their spending far better than any previous options. This should be utilized to ensure that spending is always within the range of pay. However, many are not seeing it that way. For many, banking apps are underutilized. All adults should have a checking account and a savings account. These are the two basic types of accounts that allow people to manage their personal finances correctly and responsibly.

Many banks now allow customers to apply online through an online application for checking account, which allows them to handle all their accounts online eliminating the need to make frequent trips to the bank. This is ideal for those that work during the day and struggle to get the bank before closing time. Although many banks are also open later now as it became clear there was a need for banks to be open later than 5 p.m. most days.

Too often when people are in their late teens and twenties, they spend well-beyond their income because everything is new and exciting. They believe they will have the opportunity to pay everything later, and it won’t effect them in the long term. However, this mindset gets a lot of people in trouble. Once there are serious financial obligations like a new car, a home, and a family, it gets increasingly harder to pay off that debt.

As the debt piles up, it has a way of multiplying itself through interest, late payments, and overage charges. People are put into desperate situations when an emergency rises and they are unable to put together the needed money to address the problem. Smart banking with both a savings and a checking account allows people to properly manage their money. To have emergency money in savings while also having the money they need for day-to-day expenses.