Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Americans want fit finances before fit body, study says

After a year of record mortgage foreclosures and slumping home prices, Americans are more determined to shape up their flabby finances in 2008 than their bodies, according to a study released by Countrywide Bank on Tuesday.

Some 67 percent of the 1,002 adults surveyed nationwide said that becoming financially fit is a top New Year's resolution, while 57 percent are committed to becoming physically fit in 2008.

"The results of the survey are an indicator that people are finally putting financial health on par with physical health," said clinical psychologist Dr. Melody Alderman in a statement from Countrywide.

By gender, women are more insecure about their finances, with 37 percent saying they are financially fit, compared with 55 percent for men. Dads are more confident about finances than moms, and single people feel more secure than the married.

Geographically, U.S. Northeasterners felt better about their money, with 52 percent saying their are financially fit. The Midwest and South were tied at the bottom with 43 percent feeling secure about finances.

Countrywide Bank is part of Countrywide Financial Corp, the largest mortgage lender in the United States with a big stake in the troubled subprime mortgage market. It has been battered by escalating loan defaults.

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