Nearly half of US consumers think that their finances will be better off in the next year, as nearly a third saw improvements in their spending habits and savings, according to a new survey from Chase. Optimism is slightly higher among Black (54%) and Latinx (49%) respondents as many have taken action to improve their credit, spending, or earn a second income.
The new Chase Financial Health Consumer Study—conducted in partnership with Morning Consult—surveyed more than 5,000 US consumers on the state of their finances, attitudes towards saving and budgeting, and actions they’ve taken to improve their financial health. The survey polled consumers across all demographics and took a closer look at the financial goals and impacts among Black and Latinx consumers – populations hardest hit by the economic impact of the pandemic.
“These findings underscore the challenges from loss of jobs and income and the impact the pandemic has had on consumer finances, but also puts into focus how Americans are thinking about money in the future,” said Lawrence Bailey, Head of Community & Business Development at Chase. “Small steps matter. From saving a little more each month to monitoring your credit score – these steps help consumers prepare for the unexpected, while also setting them up for success in the long run.”
Unsurprisingly, the pandemic has had a significant impact on consumers’ finances, as many experienced a loss of income or a financial fluctuation over the last year.
- 37% of the general population said that their financial situation has gotten worse over the last year, with 16% reporting a job loss, furlough or loss of income over the last 12 months.
- 20% said that they had less disposable income, which is consistent among Black (23%) and Latinx (25%) respondents.
Still, consumers feel more optimistic about their financial future and are taking actionable steps to improve their financial health:
- 65% of the general population believe they are currently in good financial health.
- Black (54%) and Latinx (49%) respondents are more optimistic about their finances this year, slightly higher than the general population at 48%.
- 51% of the general population are focusing on improving their savings, 39% on eliminating debt.
- 24% of Black and Latinx respondents said that they’ve taken action to improve their credit, compared to 19% of the general population.
- Black (21%) and Latinx (19%) respondents started a new business or side hustle in the last year, compared to 11% of the general population.