Study: Majority of Americans Struggling with Finances

Just 28 percent of Americans — approximately 70 million people — are financially healthy, according to the Center for Financial Services Innovation’s inaugural U.S. Financial Health Pulse report released today. Fifty-five percent of Americans were classified as “financially coping,” struggling with some but not all aspects of their financial lives — such as spending less than they earn, saving, paying bills on time, and managing existing debt — while 17 percent were considered “financially vulnerable,” struggling in all or nearly all areas.

Almost half of the survey respondents — 47 percent — said their spending equaled or exceeded their income over the past 12 months, and one in four said that they turned to credit to make ends meet. Forty-five percent said they did not have enough money saved to cover at least three months of living expenses, and 37 percent said they did not feel they were on track to meet their long-term financial goals. However, many said they were making an effort to plan ahead for expenses; almost half used a budget to track spending, and 41 percent reported having an emergency savings account.

When it came to debt, the survey found those that were considered financially vulnerable had the highest median debt load at $25,000. Thirty percent of all respondents said that they have more debt than they can manage, and 38 percent of all respondents with non-mortgage debt believe they will still have this debt in five years.