Bankrate’s monthly survey of six questions measures how secure Americans feel about their personal finances compared to 12 months ago. From Feb. 7-10, 2013, telephone interviews (on landlines and cellphones) with 1,004 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 decreased to 96.8, 1.8 points less than January 2013.
- 60% of men and 49% of women say they have more in savings than in credit card debt.
- 29% of parents with children younger than 18 have more money in credit card debt, compared to 21% of people without young children.
- 67% of people making at least $75,000 a year have more savings than credit card debt, while just 41% of those making less than $30,000 report the same.
- 34% of Republicans feel less job security today, compared to 20% of Democrats and 20% of Independents.
- 21% of Southerners feel more job security, but just 12% of Midwesterners feel the same way.
- 22% of men without children younger than 18 feel more job security — almost double the 12% of their women counterparts.
- 6% of rural respondents are more comfortable with their savings, compared to 15% of those in cities and suburbs.
- 8% of those making less than $30,000 a year are more comfortable with their savings, compared to 17% of earners making more.
- 19% of college grads are more comfortable with their savings, compared to 15% with some college experience and 10% with a high school diploma at most.
- Just 9% of Northeasterners feel more comfortable about their debt, compared to 22% of the rest of the country.
- 19% of college grads are less comfortable regarding their debt, compared to less than 26% of those less educated.
- 26% of people younger than 65 are less comfortable with their debt, while 17% of those at least 65 feel the same.
- 23% of suburbanites say their net worth has shrunk, compared to 15% of city-dwellers.
- 29% of men and 22% of women report higher net worth.
- 27% of Republicans say their net worth has shrunk, versus 13% of Democrats and 19% of Independents.
- 33% of college graduates say they’re better off today, more than the 19% without a college degree.
- 33% of black respondents say they’re better off today, compared with 21% of Caucasians.
- 37% of Republicans and 29% of Independents say they’re worse off today, with 20% of Democrats agreeing.
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 to 12 months ago.