Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Feelings of Financial Security Depend on Day of Month

Americans are more likely to feel financially secure on the first day of the month than on the last day of the month, according to Barriers to Saving and Policy Opportunities—the third in a series of three issue briefs from Pew Charitable Trusts' Survey of American Family Finances.

This curious day-of-the-month finding makes sense when you know the context in which most Americans live: 55 percent of households spend all or more their income most months, and 60 percent experience at least one financial shock in a 12-month time period. Little wonder, then, that as a month progresses a substantial share of households discover they don't have enough money to make ends meet.

On the first day of the month, 52 percent of Americans feel financially secure. On the last day of the month, only 34 percent feel secure. "The data show that, for many respondents, perceptions of well-being are driven more by their financial conditions at the moment than by the longer-term outlook," concludes the report. These short-term shifts in opinion are crucial to policy and program participation and effectiveness."

Source: Pew Charitable Trusts, Barriers to Saving and Policy Opportunities

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