Nearly Eight in 10 Americans Carry Less Than $50 in Cash

Financial Security Declines as More Americans Worry about Job Security

May 12, 2014, 08:00 ET from Bankrate, Inc.

NEW YORK, May 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly eight in 10 Americans (78%) carry less than $50 in cash on a daily basis, according to a new (NYSE: RATE) report. Breaking the numbers down even further, 49% of Americans carry $20 or less each day, including nine percent who don't carry any cash at all. Only seven percent of Americans typically carry $100 or more.

Eighty-six percent of women carry less than $50 on a daily basis, compared to only 70% of men. The results were fairly even across age groups, income levels and educational attainment.

"If we move to a truly cashless society, it won't be much of an adjustment for most Americans," said Greg McBride, CFA,'s chief financial analyst. "The vast majority of Americans carry $50 or less on a daily basis, which seems to indicate that it's more out of necessity than a desire to pay with cash." also announced that its Financial Security Index clocked in at 98.7 in May, declining for a second month in a row (it was 100.5 in April) and indicating deterioration for only the second time in 2014. Readings below 100 indicate lower financial security than the previous year. The index's five components are savings, debt, net worth, job security and overall financial situation.

  • Feelings on job security turned negative for the first time since November 2013, as Americans were apparently unswayed by the strong April jobs report.
  • The percentage of American workers feeling more secure in their jobs now than one year ago declined from 24% in April to 18% in May.
  • Savings, consistently a sore spot of financial security, declined further with those feeling less comfortable with their savings outnumbering those who are more comfortable by a two-to-one margin.
  • May is the second month in a row -- and just the fourth month in the past year -- that Americans are less comfortable with their debt than one year prior.
  • Net worth is now the strongest component of financial security, with just one in six Americans reporting a lower net worth than one year ago.
  • "With rising home prices and stock markets near record highs, it's not surprising to see that net worth is the strongest component of Americans' financial security," said McBride.
  • Americans are neutral regarding their overall financial situations. Twenty-five percent say they're better off than one year ago, 25% say they are worse off and the remaining 50% say they are about the same.

The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) and can be seen in its entirety here:

PSRAI obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,002 adults living in the continental United States. Interviews were conducted by landline (502) and cell phone (500, including 288 without a landline phone) in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source from May 1-4, 2014. 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 3.5 percentage points.

About Bankrate, Inc.

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, our flagship website, and other owned and operated personal finance websites, including,,,,, Nationwide Card Services,,, InsureMe,,,, and 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.

For more information:

Caroline Farhat Publicist, Bankrate, Inc.  (917) 368-8638

Logo -

SOURCE Bankrate, Inc.