New CNBC data revealed that most Americans, including those with a seemingly comfortable salary, now face financial stress. Results of the outlet’s Your Money Financial Confidence Survey showed that even those with incomes over $100,000 are concerned about their personal finances.
And inflation that ripped through the economy under President Joe Biden is the number one issue.
CNBC Senior Personal Finance Correspondent Sharon Epperson reported that a whopping 70% of respondents are stressed over their personal financial situation. That number included a surprising 57% of those with incomes in six figures.
The survey spanned over 4,000 American adults in the last week of March. A full 58% reported living paycheck-to-paycheck, including those with incomes north of $100,000.
Biden promised inflation would be temporary.
Inflation has been at or above 5% for 23 straight months. pic.twitter.com/xd8uDqv5yK
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 12, 2023
As for specific reasons, respondents cited inflation, widespread economic instability, soaring interest rates, and a lack of savings.
Epperson noted that economic insecurity did not only affect those with lower incomes. “People are feeling really stretched, no matter how much money they have.”
Consumers are smart though to realize that inflation is eating away at their income and savings. Bruce McClary of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling acknowledged that “people are worried that the money they’ve saved won’t last.”
Rising prices, according to McClary, mean “they’re going to have to lean more on their credit cards and other sources of debt just to get by.”
Another worry is the recent failures of a pair of U.S. institutions. Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank imploded, and only 13% of respondents report being very confident in the nation’s banking system. The majority are at least “somewhat more concerned” about its health.
A large number of Americans have little or no financial cushion to fall back on. The data showed that only 45% of U.S. adults say they have an emergency fund. And of that number, roughly 26% have under $5,000 saved.
Interestingly, a larger number of women report being burdened by financial stress. About 72% of the female respondents said they are worried about personal finances, compared to 67% of males. They were also more likely to live paycheck-to-paycheck without emergency savings.
Some experts note this stress may be due to being situated in a “sandwich generation.” This means having to deal with both the burdens of raising children and caring for aging parents.
As Winnie Sun of Sun Group Wealth Partners told CNBC, “it’s a lot of stress.”