Over 50 Percent of Consumers Feel Daily Financial Stress, According to Survey from ACCC
Despite recent reports of uptick in consumer confidence, a recent survey from national nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling finds over half of consumers are worried about money every single day, and more than thirty percent do nothing to prevent their fear from happening.
(Boston, MA) – January 8, 2015 — More than half of consumers are stressed about their financial situations every day, according to a recent survey conducted by national financial education nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling. The survey comes at the heels of earlier consumer reports indicating that consumer spending confidence levels were approaching a seven year high (Bloomberg).
"The truth is that, despite signs of a steadily recovering economy, not all families are experiencing the positive growth," said Steve Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. "In fact, these findings convey a harsh reality for most Americans that financial stress takes the front seat in their day to day lives, which can have rippling effects across relationships and overall health."
The latest online survey of over 200 participants found that, when asked what their greatest financial fear is, loss of job/income topped the list at 29 percent, while 27 percent indicated saving for retirement and not having enough money for the future as what worried them most. Defaulting on credit card debt ranked third at 13 percent and 10 percent of respondents indicated that wasting money on bad spending habits is their biggest financial fear. Only 2 percent of respondents admitted to not having a financial fear.
"The fact that the majority of consumers are worried about money issues on a regular basis means that people are being more conscious of spending habits and, more importantly, their financial future," said Trumble. "The key is to not let those fears consume and overwhelm you."
Surprisingly, despite identifying they have fears about finances, 34 percent of respondents admitted that they have done nothing to prevent their fear from happening. Even worse, is that among the 53 percent of respondents who worry about money daily, more than 20 percent confessed they have taken no action to address their anxiety.
"The good news is that a majority of respondents are taking steps to address their fears, but those consumers who are taking no action are only creating a more stressful financial future for themselves," said Trumble.
The survey also revealed that financial fears differed among income brackets and found that of those respondents earning more than $50,000, 50 percent are most worried about a loss of job/income and 48 percent in the same income bracket worry that they are not saving enough for retirement. Of those participants who earn less than $50,000, 81 percent worry about defaulting on their credit card debt.
In conjunction with the findings of the ACCC survey, the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index reports that the proportion of consumers saying business conditions are "good" decreased from 24.7 percent to 24.0 percent, while those claiming business conditions are “bad” increased from 21.3 percent to 22.4 percent. Consumers' assessment of the job market was slightly less favorable, with the proportion stating jobs are "plentiful" falling from 16.5 percent to 16.0 percent, and those claiming jobs are "hard to get" increasing marginally from 29.0 percent to 29.2 percent.
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) has created an infographic to illustrate their findings and other statistics on this subject, which can be found here:
ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:
- For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
- For bankruptcy counseling. call 866-826-6924
- For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
- Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com
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 and debt relief through education, credit counseling, and debt management solutions. Each month, ACCC invites consumers to participate in a poll focused on personal finance issues. The results are conveyed in the form of infographics that act as tools to educate the community on everyday personal finance issues and problems. By learning more about financial management topics such as credit and debt management, consumers are empowered to make the best possible financial decisions to reach debt relief. As one of the nation’s leading providers of personal finance education and credit counseling services, ACCC’s certified credit advisors work with consumers to help determine the best possible debt solutions for them. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. To participate in this month’s poll, visit ConsumerCredit.com and for more financial management resources visit TalkingCentsBlog.com.