Americans have economically improved a lot from the heydays of the recessionary period. Fewer Americans now have anxiety when it comes to paying bills and almost half of the surveyed population is capable of saving money to compensate for a rainy day. Debt, however, continues to be heavy, and certain groups, like people of color, young and less educated, continue to have a much harder time compared to others.
The result of 2016 National Financial Capability Study by FINRA Investor Education Foundation involved 27, 564 Americans and took place between June to October 2015. The survey revealed that 48 percent of respondents easily paid their bills and all related expenses. This is a spurt of 12 percentage points since 2009- a year in the middle of Great Recession. The report further states that this improvement correlates with a better economy-which is doing much better. There is also a drop in the unemployment rates and with it many Americans are now thus better off.
When it came to emergency funds, about 46 percent have sufficient reserves of money to last three months- a period of time recommended by a number of financial advisors. This is an increase of 11 points from 2009. More than 50 percent of credit card users reportedly paid their balance every month. This is the highest percentage from the beginning of the survey.
However, considerable challenges persist. This is specifically for a few American groups, like the Millenials. This is because their education has not gone beyond high school. Latinos and African Americans have also lagged behind. To give an example, payday loans or other kind of financial instruments that need greater interest rates compared to traditional loans, are taken by about 34 and 39 percent of Latinos and Blacks respectively. In contrast, only 21 percent of Asians and Whites have opted for such loans.
When it comes to Millenials, between 18 and 34 years of age, it is seen that that 29 percent have problems when it comes to paying mortgage. In the age group between 35 to 54, 16 percent have problems in paying. About 45 percent of respondents who did not have any education beyond high school said that they will be unable to assemble $2,000 within 30 days if they need to do so. Only 41 percent of Americans budget and plan spending for the succeding few months or a year.