Here’s a startling statistic: 67% of Americans are not financially healthy. That means they may be struggling to pay their bills each month, lack sufficient savings, and carry too much debt. That is two-thirds of U.S. residents that come from all income levels and professions.
Note to our readers: All data included in this post come from The Financial Health Network’s 2020 Pulse Trends Report.
Each year, the Financial Health Network gauges the financial health of Americans. In 2020, they gathered information from a cross-section of the nation over the summer. They reported that one-time stimulus payments and temporary increases in unemployment insurance to address the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic led to financial improvements for some people. That support, coupled with changes in consumer behavior, loan modifications, and other emergency help, lifted the percentage of people considered financially healthy from 29% in 2019 to 33% in 2020.
But the Financial Health Network says that improvement may only be temporary, and as the pandemic continues, the financial situation for many families remains uncertain.
Where do you fall in this financial wellness spectrum?
First, let’s look at some of the indicators the report authors use to determine financial well-being. Choose which answer fits your circumstances and add up your score.
Spending vs. income
- You spend less than your income (100 points)
- You spend a little less than your income (75 points)
- You spend equal to your income (50 points)
- You spend a little more than your income (25 points)
- You spend a lot more than your income (0 points)
- You pay all your bills on time (100 points)
- You pay nearly all of your bills on time (60 points)
- You pay most of your bills on time (40 points)
- You pay some of your bills on time (20 points)
- You pay very few of your bills on time (0 points)
Savings in the bank
- You have savings to cover 6 months or more of expenses (100 points)
- You have savings to cover 3-5 months of expenses (75 points)
- You have savings to cover 1-2 months of expenses (50 points)
- You have savings to cover 1-3 weeks of expenses (25 points)
- You have savings that covers less than a week of expenses (0 points)
Long-term savings goals
- You feel very confident you can meet your long-term goals (100 points)
- You feel moderately confident you can meet your long-term goals (75 points)
- You feel somewhat confident you can meet your long-term goals (50 points)
- You feel slightly confident you can meet your long-term goals (25 points)
- You are not confident at all you can meet your long-term goals (0 points)
Debt (including mortgage)
- You have no debt (100 points)
- You have a manageable amount of debt (85 points)
- You have a bit more debt than is manageable (40 points)
- You have far more debt than is manageable (0 points)
- Excellent score 800-850 (100 points)
- Very good 740-799 (80 points)
- Good 670-739 (60 points)
- Fair 580-669 (40 points)
- Poor 300-579 (0 points)
- I don’t know (0 points)
Sufficient insurance to cover you in an emergency
- You are very confident you are sufficiently covered (100 points)
- Moderately confident (75 points)
- Somewhat confident (50 points)
- Slightly confident (25 points)
- Not at all confident (10 points)
- You have no insurance (0 points)
How much do you agree with the statement “My household plans ahead financially”?
- Agree strongly (100 points)
- Agree somewhat (65 points)
- Neither agree nor disagree (35 points)
- Disagree somewhat (15 points)
- Disagree strongly (0 points)
Now, add up all your points and divide by 8 to see where you are on the financial wellness spectrum.
Score of 80-100: Financially healthy
About 33% of Americans, or 84 million people, are financially healthy. They are spending, saving, and borrowing in ways that allow them to be resilient.
How SAFE can help: Learn about our wealth services and loan options to help you maximize your money.
Score of 40-79: Financially coping
Half of Americans, 50%, or 125 million people, are considered financially coping. They are struggling in a few areas of their financial lives.
How SAFE can help: Determine which areas you may be having problems with. Do you need to consolidate debt or refinance an auto loan* to reduce your monthly payments? How about tools that help you increase your savings? We even have products that may help to boost your credit score. Contact us for a complimentary assessment of how SAFE can put together a personal financial wellness plan for you.
Score of 0-39: Financially vulnerable
About 17% of Americans, or 42 million people, are in this range. They struggle with nearly all aspects of their financial lives.
Where ever you are on your personal finance journey, SAFE is here to help you improve your financial well-being. Contact us at (800) SEE-SAFE, explore your options at safecu.org, or schedule an appointment to talk with one of our knowledgeable member service representatives. We’re here for YOU.
*Loans subject to approval