They say that money doesn’t buy happiness… But financial wellness can certainly buy us some peace of mind.
When we can’t make end’s meet or live a full life because of cumbersome financial obligations, it threatens our wellbeing. So how is financial stress affecting the country, and is it the same across all generations?
Everyone knows that financial wellness is one of the most talked-about topics in our society. But does that mean the situation has actually changed across the America? Survey Junkie polled roughly 4,300 respondents on their relationship to financial wellness. When it comes to personal finances, what stresses them out the most? Have they seen drops in their productivity levels because of their anxiety about paying bills on time? What about the state of their health and relationships?
Read the results below to see if you’re perspective on financial wellness matches the most common concerns.
How Would You Define Financial Wellness?
The first question that Survey Junkie asked its participants was to define financial wellness. Here’s what they said.
Being debt-free: 21.28%
Being free of stress associated with finances: 25.71%
Having enough money to enjoy life freely: 30.75%
Being able to pay my bills each month: 17.25%
Being able to retire whenever I want: 5.01%
The percentages stay more or less the same across all age demographics, with marginal increases in the number of people who prioritize retirement as they get older. If you’re looking to stretch your paycheck further, read this blog post for some helpful tips.
What is Your Main Financial Concern?
When people stress out about their finances, what is their main concern?
Not having enough money in my emergency fund: 26.25%
Not being able to retire when I want: 16.81%
Not being able to pay my bills on time: 29.50%
Not being able to pay down my debt: 21.14%
Losing my job: 6.3%
Among the 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, and 45-54, the number 1 concern is not being able to pay bills on time. That shifts slightly in the 55-64 demographic, when not being able to retire at a desired time gets a 2% edge. And at age 65, the main concern shifts overwhelmingly to not having enough money in an emergency fund, which becomes 44.47% of respondent’s primary concern.
One thing is clear. Not having enough money to maintain a high degree of financial wellness is a concern that comes in myriad forms throughout a person’s lifetime.
Do You Think the Current U.S. Government Will Help or Hurt Your Financial Situation?
Won’t make a difference: 35.64%
Across the board, the majority of every generation answered that they thought the current government would hurt their current financial situation.
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Do You Have a Side Hustle?
A side hustle can be a great way to supplement your income and help relieve some of your financial stress. But how many people actually have one?
The majority of respondents in every generation don’t report having a side hustle. But it doesn’t come as a surprise that millennials are more likely than any other generation to earn extra income on the side. Almost 42% of people ages 25-34 reported having a side hustle.
If you’re looking to earn some extra cash, taking paid surveys is a fun and easy way to do it. Read this post to learn how to get the most out your experience on Survey Junkie.
What Would Help You the Most to Feel More Financial Wellness?
If we could agree that there was one way to unanimously promote financial wellness, the country would be in a much different place.
Better job security: 27.77%
Lower health care costs: 32.99%
A rising stock market: 8.58%
Lower Inflation: 30.66%
When it comes to feeling more financial wellness, people are almost evenly divided between better job security, lower health care costs, and lower inflation. The two oldest age demographics report health care as the biggest game changer to their financial situation. Better job security is the most important topic for people ages 18 to 45.
Is the Financial Situation Across America Getting Better or Worse?
How optimistic are people about the financial situation across the country?
About the same: 26.28%
Turns out, Americans are not very optimistic about financial improvements in today’s current economic climate. Across the board, the majority of every generation says that the financial situation is getting worse in the country. Only people ages 65+ weighted in at less than 50 percent of the respondents reporting a decline in America’s financial wellness, at 45.31%.
How Much Does Financial Stress Affect Your Health?
It’s commonly accepted that high levels of stress can have significant – if not debilitating – effects on our mental and physical wellbeing. We asked our respondents whether they’ve noticed any changes in their health due to financial stress.
Not at all: 9.00%
Of the respondents, nearly two-thirds note a moderate or significant effect on their health from financial stress.
How Much Has Financial Stress Has Affected Your Relationships?
Friendships can suffer when finances are involved too. Personal finances have the potential to destroy relationships. And it’s not just romantic partnerships that struggle when money is an issue.
Not at all: 17.98%
Apparently, the financial strain on relationships has not gone unnoticed by our participants. A majority of respondents report that financial stress has impacted their relationships as well as their health.
How Much do You Feel Financial Stress Has Affected Your Productivity?
What about productivity levels? It may seem like a paradox. But the more we need to take control of our situation, the less productive we can become. When the stress begins to mount, it’s easy to stay in a state of distraction and overhwhelm.
Not at all: 17.86%
Financial stress also has a negative effect on people’s productivity levels. Over 50 percent of respondents say that their concerns about finances impact their ability to remain productive.
The majority of respondents report some kind of negative impact associated with their financial stress. Whether it’s broken relationships, physical health issues, or the inability to remain focused at work, one thing is certain. When financial wellness is compromised, our overall wellbeing is too. There may not be one answer to solve everyone’s personal finances. However, you can start taking control of the situation in an empowering way. To start, read this post on taking the power back and paying down debt.
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