CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The next time you hear someone complain about Washington politicians who can't balance a budget, you should ask them how they're doing with their own finances.
The Gallup polling firm released survey results last month that painted a disappointing, though not entirely surprising, picture about Americans' personal finance habits.
While getting the government's financial house in order was a top issue during the 2012 election, Gallup found that less than one-third of American households - just 32 percent - actually prepare a monthly budget for themselves.
How does that saying go? "Do as I say, not as I do."
Not only do two out of every three consumers avoid figuring out how much they can actually afford at the mall before they go, only 30 percent bother to prepare some type of long-term financial plan to outline how much they would like to save and invest over time.
"Americans who prepare a detailed household budget are in the minority in the U.S.," Gallup chief economist Dennis Jacobe said regarding the survey results.
Or think about this: An American adult is more likely to be obese than a good financial planner.
That's right, the 32 percent of adults who actually track their finances are outweighed - literally - by the 35.7 percent of American adults considered obese by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. (Let's not even try to include the ones that are simply overweight.)
Such a paltry statistic helps explain why the average credit card holder has $4,878 in debt.