Americans are beginning to feel the pinch of tight budgets, as the pandemic coronavirus continues and government aid from the start of the crisis ends.
According to A.I., one-quarter of Americans felt financial stress all year. CNBC + Acorns Invest in You survey, conducted by Momentive. The online survey of nearly 4,000 adults was conducted March 23-24.
Other 41% stated they sometimes feel financially stressed, while 33% reported that they were rarely or never feeling financially stressed during the previous year.
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As Americans face the most severe inflation rate in 40 years, rising prices have been the primary cause of financial stress. Many people were unprepared to deal with these price hikes, said Susan Greenhalgh, an accredited financial counselor who runs Mind Your Money in Hope, Rhode Island.
“We don’t know what to do with them and how we can address them,” she stated, noting that keeping your eyes fixed on your spending is always an effective strategy.
People with low incomes seem to feel the most stressed financially.
Survey results showed that almost 60% of respondents with household incomes below $50,000 reported feeling more financially stressed than they did one year ago.
This is compared to the 53% who are in households that make between $50,000 and $100,000 annually, and the 45% of those making over $100,000 who also said it.
Some people who are most in need of assistance may find it necessary to do some. serious choices with their finances, said Tania Brown, an Atlanta-based certified financial planner and founder of FinanciallyConfidentMom.com. She recommends prioritizing the essentials before anything else — that includes, rent, food, utilities and basic medical expenses.
“In this climate, legally other bills may have to go by the waysideShe said. “Depending upon your income, you are fighting to preserve your home.”
Also, she suggested reaching out and asking for assistance from creditors to find programs that can lower utility costs depending on your income. You might also want to examine other monthly costs and subscriptions, such as internet or cable.
GasBuddy and carpooling are just a couple of ways you can save money on gas.
You can make additional changes to reduce your bills. For example, you might use heat and air conditioner less. opting for meals without meat.
In addition, if a family must dip into their emergency savings to stay afloat right now, Brown said they shouldn’t feel bad — the point of having such an account is for such situations.
She said, “You are using it as intended.”
Prices may keep rising
Most Americans aren’t as concerned about rising inflation pressures. Still, they might be in a very different financial situation now due to rising prices — some 52% said they’re under more financial stress now than they were a year ago.
Brown said that because the prices of goods are likely to go up in the short-term, it is important to regularly review your budget in order to keep track of changes in price.
You need to take a proactive approach in reviewing your finances and actually taking a look at how much you have spent over the last month, as numbers can change, she stated. Give yourself more room.
This could mean you have to save less over the next few months. You might also need to rethink your financial goals and look for higher-paying jobs.
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