Americans' Financial Security Experiences Biggest Drop in 11 Months
NEW YORK, July 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Bankrate.com's (NYSE: RATE) Financial Security Index dropped from 100.8 in June to 97.9 in July, the lowest level since March and the biggest monthly drop since August 2011. Readings on all five components slipped this month: job security, savings, debt, net worth and overall financial situation.
Twenty-eight percent of Americans say their overall financial security is lower now than one year ago, while just 23% feel better. This is the first time since March that more Americans feel their overall financial situation is worse compared with the year before.
"Interestingly, despite another poor jobs report in early July, feelings of job security were the least affected and remain the component of financial security that Americans feel is most improved relative to one year ago," said Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate.com's senior financial analyst. "Just 19% of Americans feel less job security than one year ago."
Americans' comfort level with their savings fell, with 39% of Americans feeling less comfortable with their savings compared to last year and just 16% feeling better, an identical reading to that seen in March.
The poll also found that only 60% of Americans track their monthly spending against a budget, a figure that is little changed from 58% last year. "For a nation where just one-in-four households has an adequate emergency savings cushion, the fact that only 60 percent adhere to a fundamental behavior such as tracking expenses reveals a key weakness," McBride added.
The new survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) and can be seen in its entirety here: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/consumer-index/financial-security-poll-0712.aspx.
A Financial Security Index reading of 100 indicates the same level of financial security as one year ago. Higher readings illustrate improved financial security, while lower readings demonstrate decreased financial security.
The PSRAI July 2012 Omnibus Week 1 obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,004 adults living in the continental United States. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline (601) and cell phone (403, including 189 without a landline phone). Interviews were done in English by Princeton Data Source from July 5-8, 2012. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.
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Bankrate is a leading publisher, aggregator, and distributor of personal finance content on the Internet. Bankrate provides consumers with proprietary, fully researched, comprehensive, independent and objective personal finance editorial content across multiple vertical categories including mortgages, deposits, insurance, credit cards, and other categories, such as retirement, automobile loans, and taxes. The Bankrate network includes Bankrate.com, our flagship website, and other owned and operated personal finance websites, including CreditCards.com, Interest.com, Bankaholic.com, Mortgage-calc.com, CreditCardGuide.com, Nationwide Card Services, InsuranceQuotes.com, CarInsuranceQuotes.com, InsureMe, Bankrate.com.cn, CreditCards.ca, NetQuote.com, and CD.com. Bankrate aggregates rate information from over 4,800 institutions on more than 300 financial products. With coverage of nearly 600 local markets in all 50 U.S. states, Bankrate generates over 172,000 distinct rate tables capturing on average over three million pieces of information daily. Bankrate develops and provides web services to over 80 co-branded websites with online partners, including some of the most trusted and frequently visited personal finance sites on the Internet such as Yahoo!, AOL, CNBC, and Bloomberg. In addition, Bankrate licenses editorial content to over 500 newspapers on a daily basis including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe.
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