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May 2014 Financial Security Index charts

Bankrate's monthly survey measures how secure Americans feel about their personal finances compared with 12 months ago. From May 1-4, telephone interviews (on landlines and cellphones) with 1,002 adults living in the continental U.S. were conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. The results of Bankrate's Financial Security Index have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. This month, the index declined to 98.7 from 100.5 in April.

How much cash do you usually carry with you on a daily basis?

Highlights:

  • Women were more likely than men to say they carry less than $20.
  • People with incomes of $30,000 or less were more likely to say they had less than $20 in their pocket than people with higher incomes.
  • Respondents from the West were more than twice as likely as their counterparts in the Midwest or South to say they don't carry cash.
How do you feel about your job security compared with 12 months ago?

Highlights:

  • Younger respondents (between 18 and 29) were more likely to say they felt more secure than other age groups.
  • People with lower incomes ($30,000 and less) were more likely to say they felt less secure than people with higher incomes.
  • Respondents who identified as Republicans were more likely to say they felt less secure than those who identified as Democrats.
How do you feel about the amount of money you have in savings compared with 12 months ago?

Highlights:

  • Men were more likely than women to say they felt more comfortable about their savings.
  • Less than a tenth of people of retirement age said they felt more comfortable with their savings.
  • People who attended college were more likely than others to say they were comfortable with their savings.
How do you feel about the amount of debt you have compared with 12 months ago?

Highlights:

  • Men were more likely than women to say they were more comfortable with their debt.
  • People making between $50,000 and $74,900 were the most likely to say they felt comfortable with their levels of debt.
  • Republicans were more likely than Democrats to say they felt less comfortable with their levels of debt.
Please think about your net worth, or your total assets, including any real estate equity, minus your debts. Compared with 12 months ago, is your net worth:

Highlights:

  • People between the ages of 30 and 49 were the most likely to say their net worth was higher.
  • Those who lived in suburban communities were the most likely to say their net worth was higher.
  • A majority of unemployed respondents said their net worth hadn't changed over the past 12 months.
Compared with 12 months ago, do you feel your overall financial situation is:

Highlights:

  • Younger respondents were more likely than older respondents to say they felt better about their financial situation.
  • Republicans were more likely than Democrats and Independents to say they felt worse today.
  • College graduates were more likely to say they felt better about their financial situation.

Editor's note: Percentages may not equal 100, due to rounding.

Financial Security Index

Bankrate's Financial Security Index gauges how Americans feel today versus a year ago on vital financial matters. An index value of less than 100 indicates declining levels of financial security; a value greater than 100 reveals higher levels of security compared with 12 months ago.

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