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Americans with limited savings stress about their finances for nearly an entire work month (18.63 days) each year. A third (33%) feel paralyzed to act when a financial disruption occurs.

Commissioned by Best Egg and conducted by OnePoll for Financial Wellness Month, a survey of 2,000 United States adults with less than two months of liquid savings or assets on hand found that while their finances are often top of mind, few are prepared for the possibility of unexpected expenses.

The most common disruptions that leave people incapacitated include medical emergencies (52%), increases in the cost of necessities (44%), unexpected bills (55%), increases in loan payments (37%), or job loss (36%).

Financial Stress and Its Impact on Daily Life

Financial tasks take up a lot of time in an average month, with about a quarter of respondents devoting one full week per month to budgeting, checking their bank account balance, and reviewing credit transactions. The survey also found a whopping 77% of respondents say they carry the mental load of their finances for their household.

Forty-six percent find it difficult to balance their financial wellness and other priorities — especially those who fall into Gen Z (53%). Those priorities include spending time with friends (41%) and family (40%), as well as their mental well-being (39%) and day job (39%).

It’s no surprise, then, that people’s hobbies (46%), personal relationships (44%), and sleep patterns (41%) have all been affected by their unique financial situations.

Defining Financial Wellness and Confidence

Additionally, the data looked at how people define financial wellness and financial confidence, and what they need to support them in their journey to becoming money confident.

Respondents characterized financial wellness as being able to pay their bill s on time (50%), maintaining good credit (47%), and being able to afford necessities (47%).

Other definitions included not having any debt (46%), having an emergency fund (45%), being able to save for retirement (42%), and being able to save for their children’s education (42%).

When it comes to financial confidence, though, most said it’s about feeling prepared for unexpected expenses (54%), knowing how to make the right decision when it comes to money (53%), and understanding their financial situation and goals (52%).

However, only 57% rated their current level of financial confidence as “high.”

“The keys to financial confidence are having knowledge, control, and security about your finances so you feel prepared to handle the financial challenges that may come your way,” says Bobby Ritterbeck, President of Best Egg. “When people have the right tools to take control of their finances, their budget gets some room to breathe, empowering them to continue working on their short and long-term financial goals.”

While people are most likely to devote their time to managing their finances after paying their bills (50%), their financial stress typically peaks at the end of the month (24%).

Thankfully, 85% feel they have support from their family to help with financial stress.

However, this sentiment differs by generation, as younger age groups, especially millennials (90%), were far more likely to feel their family has their back compared to baby boomers (60%).

Coping with Financial Disruptions and Seeking Support

When a financial disruption occurs, nearly a third (32%) will tap into their savings, with 28% asking family for assistance and only 10% considering loan options.

“Everyone’s financial situation is different, which is why we understand the importance of providing flexible, personalized solutions tailored to fit people’s specific needs, whether that be helping them pay rent on time or an unexpected bill. Finding the right product that supports your financial needs will help you make smart financial decisions and be money-confident,” explains Ritterbeck. 

HOW DO PEOPLE DEFINE “FINANCIAL WELLNESS”?

Being able to pay my bills on time – 50%

Maintaining good credit – 47%

Being able to afford necessities – 47%

Not having any debt – 46%

Having an emergency fund – 45%

Being able to save for retirement – 42%

Being able to save for my children’s education – 42%

Being on track for long-term financial goals – 41%

Being able to afford nice-to-haves – 41%

Knowing how to live within my means – 37%

Sticking to a budget – 35%

Being able to invest – 33%

HOW DO PEOPLE DEFINE “FINANCIAL CONFIDENCE”?

Feeling prepared for unexpected expenses – 54%

Knowing to make the right decision when it comes to money – 53%

Understanding my financial situation and goals – 52%

Having control by understanding the full financial picture – 51%

Feeling financially secure – 49%

24.5 minutes a day thinking about finances x 365 days a year = 8942.5 minutes / 60 minutes in an hour = 149.041 hours a year / 8 hour work day = 18.63 work days

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 U.S. adults with limited savings — defined as having less than two months of liquid savings or assets on hand — was commissioned by Best Egg between Nov. 20 and Nov. 23, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

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