Many People Say Managing Their Finances is Harder Now Than Pre-Pandemic

February 15, 2022

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Demographics & Audiences | Financial Services | Household Income | Industries | Youth & Gen X

It’s been a difficult two years for marketers and consumers alike. The ongoing pandemic and its impact on the economy has resulted in harder times for many Americans, with close to 4 in 10 (37% of) US adults surveyed by Morning Consult saying they had more difficulty managing their finances in 2021 than in previous years.

Women and lower-income households seem to have experienced the most difficulty, with 40% of women and 44% of adults with a household income of less than $50k saying it was harder to manage their finances last year than in other years. It’s probably not a coincidence that these are the same groups most likely to say that their financial position was worse at the end of 2021 than it was at the beginning of the year. 

Earlier research suggested that about half of Gen Z (and younger Millennials) agreed that their household income was at risk due to the pandemic. Morning Consult’s survey shows that Gen Z adults are on par with the US adult average in the percentage saying their financial position worsened in 2021, and a near-average 38% likewise say they had a harder time managing their finances during the year. 

It is worth noting that upper-income adults (HHI of $100k+) were more likely than adults overall to say that it got easier for them to manage their finances in 2021. In fact, this group is the only one analyzed (among the gender, generation, and income breakouts) for which an almost-equal percentage said it became easier than harder to manage their finances. Added to that, more than 4 in 10 (42%) report that, by the end of 2021, their financial position had improved relative to the beginning of the year. 

Despite the increased difficulty some are facing in managing finances, a great deal are still working toward financial goals. Some 8 in 10 have a goal of creating an emergency fund, while a similar share are developing and maintaining a budget (79%). About three-quarters are saving for retirement (74%) and improving credit (74%).

Of those respondents who use banks, about three-quarters say that their bank understands their financial goals either very well (31%) or somewhat well (43%). However, fewer (59%) say that their bank is helpful in achieving those goals. 

Read more here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a January 2022 survey of 2,200 US adults.

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