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20 Jul, 2011

Women Feel Higher Levels of Financial Stress Than Men

Please scroll down to read the stories.

1. Women Feel Higher Levels of Financial Stress Than Men

2. New Delta Faucet Study Unveils Americans’ Bathroom Behaviors

3. Data Protection and Privacy: Revolt Emerging Against “Unquenchable Appetite” of Data Collection industry

4. Small Business Internet Marketing Survey: Over 40% Crying For Help

5. CreditDonkey Reveals Just How Much Americans Rely on Credit Cards


1. Women Feel Higher Levels of Financial Stress Than Men

(PRWEB) July 18, 2011 — According to a recent study carried out by Financial Finesse reports an estimated 60% of illness is directly caused by financial stress.

Financial stress costs companies millions of dollars each year in health care expenses. Despite the recent economic crisis across the United States, the report shows a downward trend in the levels of financial stress since 2009.

Stress levels in 2009 stood around 26% decreasing to 25% in 2010, however, in 2011 much to the surprise of many economists the levels float around 16%. The report also highlights that overwhelming financial stress is much higher in women than in men. Female statistics stand around 9% while for men the level is 3%.

The report also extends to family life and finds that 21% of families with children admit to having high stress levels in contrast to 12% for those without children.

“Financial education and literacy is the key to staying stress free and debt free,” according to Walter Ledda, Chief Executive Officer and founder of California based Morgan Drexen.

Morgan Drexen provides integrated legal support services and in recent weeks has launched an Automated Bankruptcy Module (ABM). “Supporting more than 40 law firms nationally we improved our automation to cater for those consumers across the nation wanting to file for bankruptcy,” adds Ledda

The demographic most vulnerable to financial stress are women between the ages of 30-44 and middle income Americans in general earning in the range of $60,000- $74,999 per year. The Financial Finesse report also states that married people in general have lower levels of stress compared to single Americans.

Morgan Drexen supported attorneys currently work with more than 28,000 clients working to reduce their debt. According to statistics provided by Morgan Drexen the attorneys they support with paralegal and paraprofessional services have reduced over $260 million in debt. More than 2,100 families that used the attorney-based debt resolution program had enrolled debts completely resolved.

Despite the decreasing stress levels in 2011, more than 65% of employees asked still admitted that they had some financial stress with 5% admitting their financial stress was overwhelming.

“Financial stress causes not only physical illness but can often lead to relationship problems. The relief for most people when they finally become debt free is often so great that they literally break down. The attorneys we support regularly receive thank you cards from consumers who are now enjoying a stress free, debt reduced life,” admits Rita Augusta Chief Operations Officer at Morgan Drexen.

Stephanie Silver an Oregon resident admits, “When all my debts were paid I screamed and cried so loudly that my husband ran in to the house to see what was causing the commotion. We have our lives back we are debt free and can now start living again.”

2. New Delta Faucet Study Unveils Americans’ Bathroom Behaviors

INDIANAPOLIS, July 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Would it surprise you to know that one in five adults leaves the washroom without washing their hands? The busiest room in the house may also be the least efficient, according to a recent study conducted by Delta Faucet(1). The popular faucet brand recently teamed up with Savvy Mommy® Victoria Pericon to launch a nationwide survey to uncover Americans’ bathroom behaviors.

According to the survey, nearly 75 percent of households have at most two bathrooms, which each person uses more than 5-10 times each day. Recent U.S. Census data shows the average American household has 2.6 residents, meaning those rooms are visited 13-26 times daily. Suffice it to say, the bathroom is one of the most frequented places in the whole house.

“People forget that the bathroom is an integral part of their at-home experience,” said family lifestyle expert Savvy Mommy® Victoria Pericon. “Whether it serves as a private sanctuary for mom, a place to showcase your design style to guests, or a room where kids learn everyday habits, the bathroom is one space in the home that gets used consistently, every day.”

Victoria suggests putting out inviting hand towels and fragrant or colorful soaps to help encourage hand washing and make the experience more special. She also notes that new technologies for the bathroom, such as touch-activated faucets, can cut down on the transfer of dirt and mess from the hands to the faucet, helping to make the bathroom and home a cleaner place.

Delta® faucets with Touch2O® Technology for the bathroom, introduced this year, turn on with a simple tap to the faucet handle or spout.  Another tap or inactivity for one minute will stop the flow of water.  For an entirely hands-free experience, Delta Faucet offers Touch2O.xt™ Technology, which activates on contact or when you move your hands within the faucet sensing zone, which is anywhere within four inches of the faucet.

“By integrating some special touches and making a couple of simple updates, the bathroom can become a welcoming place that enhances the design and feeling of the entire home. It can also help promote good hygiene,” adds Pericon.

While many Americans heed expert advice to wash hands frequently to cut down on the spread of germs, these consumer study results showed that nearly one in five Americans neglect to wash their hands after using the bathroom, with women only slightly more likely to wash than men.  The study also found that:

(+) Respondents who were married wash their hands less compared to those who were single;

(+) Other groups who wash their hands less frequently include those among the highest income bracket ($75K +) and parents with young children;

(+) Despite all the education available today, Millennials wash their hands the least, lathering up 10 percent less than Baby Boomers.

In addition, the study revealed that, despite increasing emphasis on water conservation, behind closed bathroom doors the majority of people (57 percent) consistently neglect to turn off the water while brushing their teeth or shaving. And in spite of movements, such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense® program, designed to help consumers identify high quality water-efficient fixtures, most consumers responded that they have not installed a water-saving faucet or aerator in their home. In fact, most Americans have not even replaced their bathroom faucet in more than 10 years.

Specifically, residents in the Midwest and South were reportedly least concerned about reducing water consumption, with only four percent of respondents in these regions noting that they currently had a water-efficient faucet in their homes. Unfortunately, the National Resources Defense Council’s list of the largest U.S. cities that will face water shortages in the coming years includes a number of cities in those regions.(2)

Delta® bathroom faucets featuring Touch2O® and Touch2O.xt™ Technology are WaterSense labeled, which means they use 32 percent less water than the industry standard(3) and perform as well or better than their less efficient counterparts.

WATERSENSE is a registered trademark of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

(1)  Delta Faucet worked with Synovate eNation to conduct a national online omnibus survey of 1,000 nationally representative American adults in June 2011.

(2)  The 10 major cities predicted to face water shortages in the coming years are: Orlando; Atlanta; Tucson, Arizona; Las Vegas; Fort Worth, Texas; San Francisco Bay Area; San Antonio, Texas; Phoenix; Houston; and Los Angeles.

(3) Based on flow rate for lavatories of 1.5 gpm versus Industry Standard ASME.A112.18.1/CSA.B125.1 of 2.2 gpm.

Related Links: Visit www.savvymommy.com

3. Data Protection and Privacy: Revolt Emerging Against “Unquenchable Appetite” of Data Collection industry

Boston, MA (PRWEB) July 17, 2011 — With U.S. Congressional hearings in progress, can new legislation or regulations be far behind? Major privacy breaches, including data thefts and surreptitious data gathering by vendors of all kinds, have been widely reported in the media. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has launched a stepped-up enhancement of what it views as unfair or deceptive business practices, and has also made it clear that if the digital advertising industry fails to regulate itself, the FTC will fill the vacuum.

Mercator Advisory Group’s new report Data Protection and Privacy: Primer For A Challenging Issue discusses the challenges facing financial firms with respect to both managing privacy risks and maintaining strong customer relationships. It presents evidence of consumer attitudes, and insights about the multiple complicated dimensions of the word “privacy.” The report also recommends four major initiatives that financial firms must undertake in order to minimize their risks, satisfy their customers, and protect their reputations.

“Against a background of generalized and growing consumer anxiety about privacy, financial firms continue to believe they are among the most highly trusted entities on the Internet. For the time being, they may still be right,” states Patricia McGinnis, director of Mercator Advisory Group’s Banking Group.”However, that trust may be undermined by the combination of a steady stream of data breach notices, the observable evidence of targeted offers, and the absence of meaningful choice in many FSI privacy notices.”

Highlights of this report include:

(+) Factors causing U.S. consumers to revolt against the unquenchable appetites of the data collection and data analysis industries.

(+) The rights U.S. individuals have to access or correct errors in, massive files of personally-identifiable, collected, and mashed-together data.

(+) The industries with the largest appetite for targeted data, their funding sources, and an outlook on their overall impact on personal privacy.

(+) Which new technologies will raise the privacy risks faced by individuals, and the challenges faced by financial firm compliance officers.

This report is 34 pages long and has nine exhibits.

Companies mentioned in this report include: Actiance, Adobe, Apple, Bank of America, Bank of the West, BBVA Compass, Facebook, Fifth Third, Google, McAfee, Microsoft, Mozilla, PrivacyByDesign, ReputationDefender, Selectout.org, Spokeo.com, TRUSTe, Trusteer, and Verisign Authentication.

Members of Mercator Advisory Group have access to this report as well as the upcoming research for the year ahead, presentations, analyst access and other membership benefits.

Further information: http://www.mercatoradvisorygroup.com

4. Small Business Internet Marketing Survey: Over 40% Crying For Help

Dallas, TX (PRWEB) July 18, 2011 — Small business statistics from a newly released survey reveals more adoption and use of internet marketing by small business. But this survey also indicates a realization from business owners that their internet marketing website and small business social media efforts need to be strengthened.

“This survey suggests that small business owners know what online marketing initiatives should be done to grow their businesses. But when they get into the actual implementation of website optimization or social media, they realize they don’t know how to do it on their own,” said Gary Hennerberg, President of Hennerberg Group, Inc., an internet marketing consultant who conducted the survey on behalf of an online directory listing company.

Overall, 80% of small businesses have a website, with 50% saying they have good results. But another 30% report poor results with their websites. Twenty percent don’t have a website, but 16% plan one in the future.

“Some 44% of business owners either build their website as a ‘do it yourselfer’ using a template, or they lean on a friend to build their website,” said Hennerberg. “Some DIYers or friends might be well versed in how to build and optimize a website for traffic, but for many that’s probably not the case, and for those small businesses who fail to optimize their website, they risk not tapping the full potential of their online presence.”

The study found that 25% of small business owners had their website built by a friend and 19% are “do it yourselfers” using a template. Twenty percent outsourced it to a local development company.

For the most part, business owners are happy with the quality of the design, appearance and content of their websites (over 60%). But the flip side is that about 60% are either dissatisfied with, or are unsure if they are getting, high search engine rankings and visitors to their websites.

While 41% believe their websites bring exposure, 28% aren’t sure what their website does for them, and they realize that they need help beyond what they can do for themselves.

More than 40% report they need help with small business SEO of their website for better local search rankings. Nearly 37% say they need help using Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Nearly 35% need help with email marketing promotions, and 33% need help building inbound links to their website. While templates and other online tools empower the “DIY” website builder and social media user, there are behind-the-scenes technical steps that are beyond the capability of most business owners.

“The study reveals that small business owners realize they need small business marketing professional help to get better at marketing their businesses, and they know what they should improve: local search optimization and use of social media,” said Hennerberg. “But most don’t know how to make these improvements.”

When looking at 2011 marketing and advertising budgets reported by small business owners, it’s no wonder there are so many trying to tackle development of a website and social media on their own without asking for professional help. About 23% plan to spend only between $1,000 and $4,999, with over 14% planning to spend less than $999. Only about 16% have budgets exceeding $5,000.

5. CreditDonkey Reveals Just How Much Americans Rely on Credit Cards

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) July 18, 2011 — CreditDonkey has revealed today just how much Americans rely on plastic through a new infographic, I Need a Credit Card.

The infographic, entitled “Just How Much Do We Need Our Credit Cards?”, shows that American credit card debt is expected to rise to $1.177 trillion this year. The colorful diagram also breaks down other details of the American credit card industry, including who uses credit cards, how many cards the average American carries, credit card usage growth and the types of cards preferred by Americans.

First introduced in 1950 by Frank X McNamara, credit cards have quickly become ingrained into American culture. And, despite the recent popularity of extreme couponing and budgeting books, websites and television shows, Americans continue to rely on credit cards in their daily lives.

Who uses credit cards?

(+) Young Americans are gravitating toward credit cards, with 21 being the average age that an American under the age of 35 first received a credit card; and 8 in 10 college students having at least one student credit card.

(+) When evaluating race, it was found that Asians are most likely to carry a credit card (87.4% have at least one) and Blacks are least likely to carry a credit card (56.7% have at least one).

How many credit cards?

(+) Households, on average have more than one credit card, with the breakdowns varying slightly by race (1.5 in Black households, 2.1 in Hispanic households, 2.3 in White households and 2.8 in Asian households)

(+) A shocking 1 in 7 Americans have more than 10 credit cards.

A decade of growth

(+) The number of Americans with one or more credit cards has grown by 13.84% over the past decade (181 million Americans in 2010 versus 159 million in 2000)

(+) While there has been a slight decrease in credit card debt in recent years, it’s still 27.35% more than in 2000 ($866 billion in 2010 versus $680 billion in 2000)

What card is king

(+) Americans prefer Visa, with more than 104 million people carrying a credit card that features the Visa logo

(+) Master Card, Discover and American Express are the three other highest ranking brands, at 83 million, 42 million and 36 million respectively

(+) Store brand cards and gas credit cards also rank high on the list, with 99 million and 56 million Americans carrying these types of cards

The CreditDonkey infographic reveals the need for increased credit education, as expressed by 84% of undergraduates who say they need more personal finance education.

“Credit cards are powerful tools to increase your purchasing power,” said Charles Tran, founder of CreditDonkey. “They also carry security features that can make them safer to use than a check or cash. However, cardholders can easily fall into a pattern of overspending each month, putting them at risk of carrying more debt than they can pay off. That’s why at CreditDonkey, we place a high value on credit education and responsible credit card usage.”

CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison site that publishes credit card research, informed opinions and related news/trends that empower American consumers to make informed credit decisions. For more information,  http://www.creditdonkey.com/