Bankrate’s monthly survey of six questions measures how secure Americans feel about their personal finances compared to 12 months ago. From May 2-5, 2013, telephone interviews (on landlines and cellphones) with 1,001 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 decreased to 100.2, down 0.2 points since April 2013.
- 20% of people with a high school education at most say they’re spending more on nonessentials; 13% of college graduates say the same thing.
- Around 1 in 5 parents of children younger than 18 say they’ve increased nonessential spending, compared to nearly 1 in 6 of other respondents.
- 85% of Republicans have not increased nonessential spending, though, neither have 75% of Democrats.
- 32% of Democrats, 14% of Republicans and 21% of Independents say they’re more job secure today versus 12 months ago.
- 24% of urban and suburban respondents feel more secure in their jobs, compared to 13% of rural respondents.
- 13% of mothers of children younger than 18 are more job secure, versus 24% of women with no children younger than 18.
- 23% of people younger than 50 say they’re more comfortable with their savings, compared to 17% of people 50 or older.
- 28% of college graduates are more comfortable with their savings, versus 17% of those with less education.
- 31% of those making at least $75,000 per year are more comfortable with their savings, while only 16% making less than that say the same thing.
- 31% of parents with children younger than 18 are more comfortable with their debt, compared to 21% of those without children younger than 18.
- 27% of those making less than $50,000 per year are less comfortable with their debt, versus 15% making at least that amount.
- 31% of Democrats are more comfortable with their debt, while just 21% of Republicans and Independents are.
- 29% of men say they have a higher net worth today, compared to 23% of women.
- 32% of parents with kids younger than 18 report having higher net worth, compared to 24% of those without children younger than 18.
- 38% of college graduates say their net worth has increased, compared to 22% of less-educated respondents.
- 38% of 18- to 29-year-olds, 33% of 30- to 49-year-olds, 25% of 50- to 64-year-olds, and 14% of those 65 and older say they’re better off today.
- 41% of Democrats are feeling better overall, versus 21% of Republicans and 25% of Independents.
- 37% of people earning at least $50,000 a year feel they are doing better financially, a higher rate than 23% of people earning less.
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.