ACCC’s Q3 2022 Financial Health Index finds people are curtailing some of the simple luxuries they typically enjoy while focusing on everyday necessities and paying debt
Boston, MA – October 13, 2022
The U.S. economy is draining the fun out of life for many Americans hit by record levels of inflation, according to the American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) Financial Health Index for the third quarter of 2022.
While prices on some everyday necessities are becoming more affordable, many of those polled for ACCC’s Q3 survey say they’ve had to eliminate simple luxuries such as after-work activities, certain premium food items, and long-distance travel.
The analysis of household financial health and readiness by the national nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling indicates that more than 50 percent of respondents have either stopped dining out or buying high-end grocery items such as fine cuts of meat and premium seafood. Another 18 percent have either nixed certain streaming or premium cable channel subscriptions or stopped going out for drinks or food with colleagues after work. And about 15 percent of those surveyed for the Financial Health Index said they have halted any travel requiring airline or passenger rail tickets.
ACCC’s Q3 Financial Health Index was conducted in September and surveyed 427 respondents with household incomes of $100,000 or less.
“The pandemic has become an afterthought as Americans’ pockets are constantly being hit during these unprecedented times,” said Allen Amadin, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “Most are focused on how their finances will do in the coming months considering that interest rates keep rising and the threat of recession remains. Cutting back on entertainment spending and certain luxury items is a natural step for people watching their budgets.”
Everyday necessities that largely dictate the cost of living in America continue to be a challenge for many surveyed by ACCC. More than 76 percent of those polled in September said the cost of basic household needs at least a moderate impact on their family’s lifestyle. Of that group 42 percent said the impact has been “significant” – a number which declined from 48 percent in the Q2 Financial Health Index poll conducted in June.
Some good news: A little over 70 percent of respondents to the Financial Health Index say they are very confident or somewhat confident they will be able to reduce their debt by at least 10 percent over the next six months. This provides an optimistic viewpoint given that the Federal Reserve once again raised interest rates in September.
This Financial Health Index also shows confidence in the U.S. economy has gone up slightly with 28 percent of respondents reporting they are somewhat confident in the economy. In the previous survey in June, only 19 percent of respondents were somewhat confident in the U.S. economy.
“The fact that interest rates continue to increase give Americans a reason to be concerned,” said Katie Ross, Executive Vice President of American Consumer Credit Counseling.
“Those who see themselves in a tight financial situation should not hesitate to look for professional support in household budgeting or debt management.”
About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling, and financial education concerning debt solutions. To help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living, and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit http://www.consumercredit.com/financial-education.aspx