Bankrate’s monthly survey of six questions measures how secure Americans feel about their personal finances compared to 12 months ago. From March 7-10, 2013, telephone interviews (on landlines and cellphones) with 1,006 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 3.6 percentage points. This month, the index increased to 101.5, up 4.7 points since February 2013.
- 52% of people in the South and West didn’t notice the payroll tax change, compared with 41% of those in the Northeast and Midwest.
- 54% of Democrats and 41% of Republicans didn’t notice the tax change — 36% of GOPers cut back on spending.
- 34% of those with at least some college education reportedly cut back on spending, and 23% of those with less education did the same thing.
- 19% of people 30 and older feel less secure about their job, compared to just 8% of those younger than 30.
- 24% of Republicans report their job insecurity has increased, while just 9% of Democrats say the same thing.
- 22% of men with a high school diploma at most say they’re more job-secure today, along with 14% of their female counterparts.
- 35% of women report being more uncomfortable with their savings, versus 27% of men.
- 36% of those making less than $75,000 a year are less comfortable about their savings, while just 18% of those making at least that much agree.
- 22% of respondents who have at least some college education are more comfortable with their savings, compared with 15% of those with less education.
- 14% of the college-educated are less comfortable with their debt, while 24% without a bachelor’s degree feel the same.
- 35% of people earning at least $50,000 a year are more comfortable with their debt, compared with 25% of those making less.
- 28% of fathers with kids younger than 18 are less comfortable with their debt, and so are 17% of men without young children.
- 33% of people younger than 65 report higher net worth, compared with 20% of those older than 65.
- 40% of college graduates say their net worth has increased, versus 27% of those less educated.
- 22% of Independents, 21% of Republicans and 13% of Democrats report lower net worth.
- Overall, 25% of women say their overall financial situations are worse today, versus 18% of men.
- 13% of people in the West say they’re worse off today, compared with 24% of people from everywhere else.
- 41% of those younger than 30 say they’re better off today, and so are 25% of those 30 and older.
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.