Financial Situation Worsening for Consumers

The number of people for whom their financial situation has worsened is outpacing the number of people for whom their financial situation has improved two-to-one, according to data released following a nationwide poll. The number of people who said their financial situation has gotten worse is up to 37%, from 290% in February, while the number of people who say their financial situation has improved declined to 18%, from 23%.

Hard Choices: A worsening financial situation is forcing consumers to make hard choices about where to spend their money and where to cut back. Nearly three-quarters of consumers are cutting back in at least one area, be it going out to eat, driving less to save gas, changing vacation plans, or skipping medical appointments or prescriptions. Nearly 18% are skipping payments on bills like rent or mortgages, credit cards, and medical bills.

Likely to Get Worse Before it Gets Better: Consumers have had their savings to help keep them afloat as times have worsened, but that cushion is evaporating quickly. Twenty-seven percent of respondents have used a “great deal” or a “good amount” of their savings to meet their family’s expenses in the past six months. For people earning under $50,000, the percentage of people who have used good chunks of their savings is at 33%.

  • Cutting back on going out to eat is one thing, but missing rent or mortgage payments is a sign of serious trouble. Overall, 8% of consumers have missed a rent or mortgage payment in the past six months, but that figure jumps to nearly 25% when looking at those earning less than $25,000 annually.

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