March 24, 2023
Most adults say their financial situation is a source of stress, including 36% who say it is a major source of stress, as people experience increasing expenses and debt. These problems are especially acute in households with incomes under $50,000.
Six in 10 adults with household incomes under $50,000 describe their financial situation as poor and lack confidence in their ability to pay an unexpected medical expense or have enough retirement savings. About half cite their financial situation as a major source of stress.
Overall, 53% of the public describe their own financial situation as good and 47% say it is poor. But among those whose household income is under $50,000, 61% consider their finances in poor shape. Eighty percent of people with household incomes over $100,00 say their financial situation is good.
Lower income people are more likely to feel major stress from their personal finances compared to higher income households. Overall, 36% of adults say the national economy is a source of major stress, though there is not much difference by household income.
Most people are feeling the sting of inflation with 74% reporting higher household expenses this year. But more people with household incomes less than $100,00 are also experiencing increased debt and reduced savings than upper income households.
Few adults are very confident they can keep up with their expenses, pay an unexpected medical expense, have enough to retire, or find a job. Those with lower household incomes are particularly lacking in confidence regarding these aspects of their financial situation.
In October 2021, as inflation was just starting to grip the U.S. economy, 45% said they were very confident in their ability to keep up with their expenses. The public has less confidence that they would be able to pay an unexpected medical expense, have enough to retire, or find a job than in 2021.
Most adults are experiencing the impact of inflation on their grocery bills, and nearly as many are concerned about the costs of gas, housing, and other goods and services.
However, concern is down from last May when 74% were concerned about the price of gas, 68% about the cost of groceries, 54% about housing costs, and 61% were worried about the price of other goods and services.
The nationwide poll was conducted March 16-20, 2023 using the AmeriSpeak® Panel, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 1, 081 adults. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.0 percentage points.
- Suggested citation: AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (March 2023). “For many, their personal finances are a source major stress” INSERT LINK HERE