BASKING RIDGE, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Financial strain is taking a toll on the residents of the tristate area, according to the latest Wellbeing and Your Wallet Index conducted by Affinity Federal Credit Union. The survey captures sentiment around the overall financial wellbeing of consumers, a cornerstone of the culture within Affinity’s communities.
The survey of 3,060 adults was conducted between June 27 and July 18, and reveals 60% agree their finances are a primary source of stress, a five percent increase from the last survey conducted in March. Additionally, more than 1 in 3 (35%) express concerns about their ability to afford food in the upcoming month.
These growing concerns are especially prominent among the younger population. A staggering 44% of Gen Z respondents (ages 18 to 26) and 43% of Millennials (ages 27 to 42) shared heightened anxieties about ensuring their next meal. This marks an alarming rise from the first quarter, with Gen Z respondents showing a 22% jump and Millennials an increase of nearly 14% in this key area.
Additional key findings from the survey include:
- Education and Childcare Worries: The upcoming academic year weighs heavily on the minds of one in three respondents, with costs associated with back-to-school, tuition, or childcare being a cause for concern. Gen Z (50%) and Millennials (44%) once again indicate the highest levels of worry.
- Emergency Funds Depleting: Only 44% of respondents feel confident handling emergency expenses. The Silent Generation (ages 78 to 95) report greater ease, despite a five percent dip from Q1.
- Inflationary Pressures: Across generations, 42% of participants are stressed by inflation, followed by unexpected expenses (38%) and difficulties in saving (36%).
- Economic Pessimism Persists: Fifty-seven percent of households maintain a negative outlook for the economy in the upcoming year, marking a 6.5% drop from Q1 sentiments.
- Changing Summer Plans: Two in five respondents (41%) have had to reconsider their summer vacations or leisure activities due to financial constraints. Gen Z (49%) and Millennials (51%) were more likely to alter their plans, particularly feeling the pinch in lodging (38%) and transportation (25%) costs.
- Silver Lining: Despite the unsettled financial atmosphere, nearly half (46%) remain hopeful about their fiscal future. Gen Z leads the pack in optimism at 57%.
"The results of our Summer Wellbeing and Your Wallet Index provide a stark snapshot of the current sentiments across our communities,” said Grant Gallagher, AVP, Head of Wellbeing at Affinity Federal Credit Union. “We're witnessing firsthand how economic pressures are affecting everyday decisions, particularly for our younger generations who, in many cases, are grappling with necessities like affording meals for the next month. The ongoing economic downturn, reflected in the growing financial anxieties of local consumers, is a reminder that our mission to support members in their financial journeys has never been more crucial.”
For more information on the survey and to view an infographic of the full survey results, please visit affinityfcu.com/financial-wellbeing/wellbeing-and-your-wallet.
Affinity partnered with Drive Research for the survey.
About Affinity Federal Credit Union
Affinity Federal Credit Union is a full-service financial institution, member-owned and community-focused, with a mission to nurture your financial wellbeing. With more than 20 branches across the tri-state area, Affinity is the largest credit union headquartered in the state of New Jersey, proudly ranking in the top 2% of all credit unions in terms of asset size1. The Affinity difference is about people helping people on a deeper level and understanding what YOU need to make your unique dreams a reality. For more information, please visit www.affinityfcu.com.
1 Source: NCUA.gov. Using the “Credit Union and Corporate Call Report Data” found here: https://www.ncua.gov/analysis/credit-union-corporate-call-report-data