2/3 of Adults Not Optimistic Personal Finances Will Improve in 2022
According to a recent Bankrate survey, two-thirds of U.S. adults anticipate no improvement in their personal finances in 2022. While 42 percent of Americans said their financial situation will stay the same, 26 percent said their finances will get worse, including 18 percent who said they will get somewhat worse, and 8 percent who said their financial situation will get significantly worse. 70 percent of Americans who anticipate their financial situation getting worse in 2022 blamed inflation.
“Inflation worries have dragged consumer confidence to a decade low and is the top reason Americans don’t expect their finances to improve, and particularly to get worse,” said Bankrate’s Chief Financial Analyst Greg McBride. “This feeling goes far beyond gas prices, as inflation has broadened out and consumers see higher prices at every turn.”
Alternatively, the biggest reasons that one-third of Americans expect their finances to improve are making more money at work and having less debt. Other reasons they cited are making more money on savings and investments, changes in life circumstances like family or health, and the potential end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic was to blame for 33 percent of Americans not expecting financial improvement. Other reasons given for a worse financial situation include life circumstances, declining or stagnant wages, debt, changing interest rates, and money made on savings and investments.
The survey also asked about Americans’ main financial goal for the new year, to which 20 percent said paying down debt. Other goals mentioned were saving for emergencies, improving budget spending, saving for retirement, investing more money, getting a higher paying job, and buying a home.
“Paying down debt before interest rates begin to rise is a prudent move and the most cited goal for 2022,” McBride said. “Saving more for emergencies, budgeting spending better, and saving more for retirement are all markings that also appear on the pathway to financial security.”