Just over half of American adults (51%) are delaying major life decisions because of financial concerns. Was it always this way? Absolutely not. According to a new survey by American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), the figure was only 31%, shortly before the 2008 recession.

Across all categories, more Americans are delaying big events in their life because of finances.

Getting Married - 2015: 12% • 2007: 6%

Higher Education - 2015: 24% • 2007: 11%

Retiring - 2015: 18% • 2007: 9%

Having Kids - 2015: 13% • 2007: 5%

Having a Medical Procedure - 2015: 19% • 2007: 9%

Buying a Home - 2015: 22% • 2007: 14%

Why the delays?

Lack of savings (60%) • Concerns about the U.S. economy (50%) • Difficulty paying non-mortgage bills (39%) • Medical bills (29%) • Taking care of elderly parents or relatives (29%) • Paying credit card debt (28%) • Concerns about losing a job (27%) • Difficulty making mortgage payments (25%)

How to keep a steadier financial footing

Start or increase your savings rate.

Start or continue following a monthly budget.

Put less money on credit cards.

Start or add to an emergency fund.