Middle-income households say their financial situation is leaving them depressed and impacting their relationships.
Despite easing inflation, many middle-income Americans find themselves stuck in a difficult spot financially, with continued high costs for necessities impacting their monthly budgets. Now, after months of economic uncertainty, the financial pressure is cresting over into their personal lives as well.
For the first time in the survey’s history, Primerica’s most recent Financial Security Monitor™ (FSM™) found more middle-income Americans rate their personal finances negatively than positively. Just over half (51%) say their finances are either not so good or poor while less than half (49%) say they are excellent or good.
“Middle-income families are under extreme financial stress,” said Glenn Williams, CEO of Primerica. “The increased usage of credit cards, alongside higher delinquency rates, reflects the compounding effect of higher prices over multiple years. These conditions led to less than half of middle-income families rating their current financial situation positively.”
That gloomy financial outlook is impacting many households on a personal level. Nearly half (44%) of middle-income Americans say they have felt depressed and almost two-fifths (38%) report finding it difficult to sleep at night in the past month due to their financial situation. In addition, almost a quarter (23%) say their financial situation has impacted their relationship with their spouse or partner.
Unfortunately, many families don’t expect the situation to change anytime soon. The survey found most middle-income Americans expect prices for necessities to rise in the coming months. The majority foresee an increase in the cost of food (77%), gas (75%), utilities (69%) and health care (64%). These essential items comprise the Primerica Household Budget Index™ (HBI™), which shows that middle-income Americans continue to struggle despite easing inflation.
However, the FSM™ survey also provides some positive signs. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of middle-income Americans say they either make the full payment or more than the minimum on their balances each month. And among those who say they create and follow a budget, a majority (79%) say they stick to their plan.
Even in the best financial climate, managing personal finances can feel overwhelming, and many Americans can feel like they don’t even know where to start. Primerica’s survey shows that while most respondents feel confident making simpler financial decisions without outside help, they express less confidence when it comes to more complex matters, such as setting up a retirement account, buying life insurance or investing in stocks.
If your financial situation is starting to negatively impact your personal life, it might be time to reach out to a financial expert for help. These professionals know the ins and outs of the market and personal financial management, and they’ve helped many overcome financial challenges to reach their financial goals.
To learn more about Primerica’s Financial Security Monitor visit, https://www.primerica.com/public/financial-security-monitor.html.