Although there are other ethnic groups as well, they are in the minority and due to time constraints will not be included in this survey. Before the survey it was expected to find that whites earn more than the other groups and in relation should spend more.
During the survey it was found that people are reluctant to give out information on their earnings and credit standing, and only after making participants comfortable that they will stay anonymous did some of them divulge the information. From 29 persons asked to complete the survey only 11 complied.
From the participants only 4 used credit cards and their average outstanding amount on these cards were less than $2000.00. If this survey would have been representative of the whole American population at large with a much larger sampling rate, it would have refuted the statement that the average American has outstanding credit in the region of $4000.
The above table was taken from an article by Barbara Hagenbaugh, in the USA today magazine on consumer debt. In another article Liz Weston also argue against this figures as she stated that most Americans do not even own a credit card and of those that do, most own less than $1000.
The survey that was developed contained more information than what was explained in the above summary. The survey may have been over developed, and that may be the reason why so many persons did not want to complete the form. If the form were simpler, containing fewer questions, more people may have participated. In addition if tick boxes and not yes or no answers were required, person could have completed forms in less time, making it more acceptable.
The questions may have been to direct and it could be possible to use a more subtle method of enquiring into personal information. Then again it would have created confusion with participants, resulting in an increase in time to complete form, which in turn would reduce the amount of persons willing to take part.
What I learned from the Survey
Firstly there is much more to a survey than just writing a few questions and going out and get people to participate. The survey composition and layout is very important, as this will influence people to take time to fill in the form. Next the target group must be identified before doing the