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Study uncovers increasing financial anxiety

Written on Aug 31, 2023

Results of a new study show that more than one in three consumers surveyed are concerned about affording food in the next month. 

According to Affinity Federal Credit Union’s annual Wellbeing and Your Wallet Index report, 60% of those surveyed agree their finances are a primary source of stress. This was a 5% increase from the previous survey conducted in March of this year. 

The results found 35% of respondents are concerned “about their ability to afford food in the upcoming month.” 

According to the survey results, the younger population are increasingly having concerns about their financial health. “A staggering 44% of Gen Z respondents (ages 18 to 26) and 43% of millennials (ages 27 to 42) shared heightened anxieties about ensuring their next meal. This marks an alarming rise from the first quarter, with Gen Z respondents showing a 22% jump and millennials an increase of nearly 14% in this key area,” Affinity officials stated. 

According to Affinity, additional findings included: 

  • Education and Childcare Worries: The upcoming academic year weighs heavily on the minds of one in three respondents, with costs associated with back-to-school, tuition or childcare being a cause for concern. Gen Z (50%) and millennials (44%) once again indicate the highest levels of worry. 

  • Emergency Funds Depleting: Only 44% of respondents feel confident handling emergency expenses. The Silent Generation (ages 78 to 95) reported greater ease, despite a 5% dip from Q1. 

  • Inflationary Pressures: Across generations, 42% of participants are stressed by inflation, followed by unexpected expenses (38%) and difficulties in saving (36%). 

  • Economic Pessimism Persists: 57% of households maintain a negative outlook for the economy in the upcoming year, marking a 6.5% drop from Q1 sentiments. 

  • Changing Summer Plans: Two in five respondents (41%) have had to reconsider their summer vacations or leisure activities due to financial constraints. Gen Z (49%) and millennials (51%) were more likely to alter their plans, particularly feeling the pinch in lodging (38%) and transportation (25%) costs. 

  • Silver Lining: Despite the unsettled financial atmosphere, nearly half (46%) remain hopeful about their fiscal future. Gen Z led the pack in optimism at 57%. 

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