The year 2021 is just starting, yet it has presented us with many a challenge and turned our heads in the health, but also financial, direction. Are you already of the mind that you should have cared for your assets better? Well, if you haven’t been reading any personal finance statistics, chances are you didn’t take any reasonable action.
Education is important and financial statistics can show us where we actually stand regarding our account balance, how to never-ever end up broke again, or whether we are using credit cards too much. Some major issues in America and the average American savings are also given here, as well as several easy ways of saving money. All that and more in this article! Just check out the most interesting statistics:
Top 10 Personal Financial Statistics for 2021
- The average US consumer spends about $63,036 per year.
- Mississippi is the US state where citizens are most likely to have debt issues with their credit cards.
- 20% of credit reports have errors in them.
- Americans are trying to save more; as a result, the average American savings for the 401k plan were $112,300 in 2019.
- Only 7% of Americans believe they will die in debt, which is a record low.
- Personal finance statistics are very grim for students. They owe the highest amount ever recorded — $1.5 trillion.
- Millennials have less purchasing power than their parents used to have at the same age.
- $42 billion — this is how much parents of children under the age of five are spending on their kids.
- According to Federal Reserve statistics, the total consumer debt in America is $4.2 trillion.
- Limiting time on social media helps save money.
Don’t you already feel amazed? Go on and keep reading! Let’s start from the basics:
How Do We Feel About Our Personal Finance?
1. Personal finance statistics for 2020 started off as extremely positive, with 59% of Americans stating they feel more confident about their finances.
That’s quite a rise since in the previous year 50% of the US was satisfied with their financial status. This year, it’s about six in ten US citizens who are more than happy, and this is the highest recorded result.
For comparison’s sake, the percentage was below 50% for the period 2001–2018.
2. At the beginning of 2020, 74% of Americans believed they would be better off financially in a year.
We’ll just have to wait and see what happens in 2021 with statistics for personal income.
3. American Democrats and Republicans have very different attitudes regarding their financial status.
While 76% of Republicans believed they are better off today than one year ago, only 43% of their opponents agree.
We can finally measure the difference in attitude between Democrats and Republicans about financial matters — it’s exactly 33%!
How Much Debt Does the Average American Have, and Why?
4. Americans’ average credit card balance fell by 14% from 2019 to 2020.
For the first time in nine years, the average credit card debt of Americans fell in 2020. National financial statistics also show that states where balances were higher on average also experienced the highest drops.
Washington D.C. had the most drastic drop in the average balance. From $7,077 of credit card debt in 2019, it fell a staggering 20% to $5,671 in Q3 2020.
5. Polls in 2020 showed only 7% of Americans believed they would die in debt, which is a record low.
In 2019, this percentage was more than three times higher (25%), and 2018 statistics were even worse (30%). Something had happened that triggered positive feelings.
6. According to Federal Reserve debt statistics, the total consumer debt in America is $4.16 trillion.
Total consumer credit in the US has been rising since 2009, which was the last year it had a year-over-year drop. From around $2.5 trillion in March of 2009, it has climbed to well over four trillion as of February 2021.
7. The median US household credit card debt is $2,700.
What’s more, the credit card average debt for an American is $6,270.
The majority of Americans are always in some kind of debt. As expected, these are mostly mortgages and credit card debts.
8. How many Americans are in debt? Recent stats say 14% of Americans owe over $100,000.
However, that is the smallest percentage of people who are in debt. The largest proportion (33%) owes between $5,000 and $25,000, whereas 20% owes below $5,000.
9. Personal finance facts reveal that Mississippi is the US state where citizens are most likely to have debt issues with their credit cards.
Residents of Southern states are more likely to fall behind on credit card debt, and younger cardmembers in particular. Millennials with low income and poor financial knowledge are especially vulnerable.
10. Personal finance statistics for 2019 were very grim for students. They owed the highest amount ever recorded — $1.5 trillion.
(Business Insider) (Education Data)
What is worse, over 50% of Millennials feel their college education simply was not worth being indebted to $29,800 when they graduated.
In 2021, total student debt in the US is approaching $1.71 trillion; the average student owes $36,406 in federal loans.
11. College tuitions are double what they used to be in the 1980s.
In practice, this translates to having a 300% larger student debt compared to baby boomers. Millennial financial statistics definitely don’t look optimistic from this angle.
While a millennial has to work 4,459 hours in order to pay off their college education, their parents had to fulfill mere 306 working hours!
12. Altogether, American households owe $14,600,000,000,000 in 2021.
In other words, American personal finance statistics report the US household debt is $14.6 trillion. Hardly surprising, if we know that back in 2018 300 million Americans had some kind of debt.
13. Except for the credit card debt, the coronavirus pandemic caused a huge debt increase.
Student loan debt has grown the most — by a whopping 12%. As for mortgage debt statistics, they show a 7% increase compared to the pre-covid era. In a similar fashion, the personal loan debt became bigger by 6%.
How Much Money Does the Average American Have Today?
14. 58% of Millennials have an account balance under $5,000.
So far, Millennials are absolutely the worst generation when it comes to average savings in the US and being independent. Their net worth is only $8,000 — the lowest ever.
Most of them still depend on their parents for money, and the net worth of people between 18 and 35 has plummeted by 34% since 1996.
15. Average American savings by age report the median retirement savings for Americans in their 30s are $45,000 — almost three times more compared to their 20s.
Americans in their 20s have only $16,000 on average. This is hardly surprising if we bear in mind that some of them don’t start working until after college.
The biggest retirement savings of $172,000 belong to seniors in their 60s.
16. The biggest expenses come from housing and transportation costs, personal budget statistics confirm.
People tend to spend 33% of their income on housing bills and 16% on transport.
As for food expenses, it’s interesting that 43% of the food budget was spent in restaurants or on takeout.
17. The most current financial statistics available tell us the average US consumer spends about $63,036 per year.
Average annual spending has been rising since at least 2016 in the US, followed closely by an increase in pre-tax income. The average income before taxes in 2016 was $74,664, while in 2019, it rose to $82,852.
Pending more recent data, that bodes well for the US economy despite pandemic-related issues.
18. Money statistics in America for 2019 say the median yearly income was $48,672.
This is excellent news as it entails a 4% increase compared to 2018. The figure refers to full-time workers (118.3 million Americans). Therefore, their weekly income was $936 for a 40-hour workweek.
If we bring seasonal adjustments into the picture, such as natural disasters, holidays, etc., that translates to $933 or $48,516 per year.
Overall, this is a stark contrast compared to some other countries. Personal finance statistics for India in 2020 report that the average Indian salary was 32,200 INR ($430.88) per month.
19. Millennials have less purchasing power than their parents used to have at the same age.
It’s not just their spending habits nor the infamous tendency to postpone responsibilities. Essentially, one of the reasons is the renowned affordability crisis, which means that living expenses have gone up beside the salaries.
20. The median weekly earnings of a part-time worker were $284 in 2019.
This, too, is a slight increase of 4.41% compared to the end of 2018 when the salary was $272.
At the moment, there are 25.2 million part-time workers in the US in 2021.
21. Saving money statistics report that only 18% of the income is left for savings and taxes when all bills are paid.
Total spending leaves only 18% of the income for paying taxes and contributing to savings. According to one survey, only 41% of Americans respect their budget plans.
22. Asian full-time workers earn more than their full-time white colleagues.
It’s true! The median yearly earnings for Asian employees are about $60,632 per year ($1,166 per week).
On the other hand, white workers earn $50,284 per year ($967 per week).
All these financial statistics in America for 2019 are a stark contrast to the lowest group — Hispanic, or Latino, workers. They have a huge working population of 18.65 million, yet the yearly salary is just $37,024 ($712 per week).
23. Americans are trying to save more — hence why the average 401k plan had $112,300 in 2019.
That represents an increase of 17% over Q4 2018. Two-thirds of those employed believe they need to be better educated regarding finance in order to be able to save more.
24. Ready for some scary financial statistics? 61% of Americans can’t cover an emergency expense of $1,000.
That means most Americans would have to resort to some form of a credit to cover a $1,000 emergency. In a survey, 38% of those who wouldn’t be able to cover the emergency said they would borrow the money, and 18% said they would resort to credit cards.
8% would resort to taking out some kind of a personal loan.
25. Facts about American personal finance suggest 55% of Americans own some kind of stock.
If it hadn’t been for the 2007–2009 recession, the percentage would most likely be higher. What will happen with stock markets in 2021 remains to be seen, but the situation definitely isn’t as grim as it was expected to be.
The biggest percentage of stock-owning Americans was in the period 2001–2008. Back then, 62% of the population were stock owners.
26. Personal finance facts for parents should be improved. $42 billion — this is how much parents of children under the age of five are spending on their kids.
This includes early child care and preschool programs in 2020.
About 7 million households contribute to the amount. Basically, they spend about $500 each month, or $6,000 per year, to cover child-related expenses.
Financial Planning Statistics and Tips
Finally, let’s see what you can immediately apply in practice and end up with more money in 2021.
27. If you make multiple payments to your credit card debt each month, you should be able to lower the interest cost.
When you pay the money to your card several times a month, that helps lower the debt, the same goes for paying your mortgage rate in a similar way.
The interest rate is calculated according to the average daily balance, so this certainly helps.
28. One of the easiest ways to save money is to avoid products from eye-level shelves as they have the priciest products.
Personal budgeting statistics can be improved even with simple knowledge.
In product placement, there’s a saying that goes: eye-level is the buy-level. This is a marketing technique that works wonders for the companies but takes money from consumers’ pockets.
If you check the bottom shelves in supermarkets, you’ll probably find a cheaper product of the same quality. Or if you avoid the pink products due to the special tax.
The only instance where this isn’t the case is for children’s items, where bottom shelves rule the game. And you can probably guess why.
29. Best personal budget statistics can be achieved with the “50-30-20” budget rule — you should dedicate 20% of your income to savings and investments.
Ideally, 50% should go to needs, such as mortgages, gas bills, utility bills, etc. Netflix is not a part of the equation. It belongs to the 30% category meant for the things that aren’t considered essentials, such as eating out.
How much does the average American have in savings in 2021? Reports say the above statistic is still true — $175,510.
30. Limiting time on social media helps save money.
In one survey, 57% of Millennials spent more than they had originally planned because they were inspired by social networks.
If you notice you’re prone to this, too, try unfollowing some Instagram or other social accounts. That will probably make a change for the better.
31. $2,000 is the amount of money you need for emergencies.
This is the average amount, estimated by experts from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
$2,000 should be enough to help you deal with sudden financial blows.
32. Important personal finance statistics: check your credit reports regularly because 20% of them have errors.
(CNN Money) (NBC Boston)
If you’re among the 16% of Americans who never check their credit reports, you might have paid more than you should have.
The main problem with this isn’t just the present, but your low credit score will definitely affect future loan possibilities. Financial literacy statistics from 2020 reveal that only about 33% of Americans checked their credit score in the past year.
What percentage of personal finance is behavior?
It is said that personal finance is 80% behavior and 20% head knowledge. In other words, knowing what to do with money is only worth anything insofar as you actually follow through with that knowledge.
What are the 5 areas of personal finance?
Experts often talk about personal finance in the context of five distinct areas:
It’s a way to break down the personal financial planning process and make financial planning decisions easier. Some finance experts also include items such as tax preparation and retirement planning, but the main goal is always to get a practical overview of your complete financial state.
What percentage of Americans have debt?
The most recent statistics available show that 80% of Americans are in debt., but the actual amount could be even higher. When the dust from the pandemic settles, and we have personal finance statistics from 2021, we could see more Americans in debt than ever before.
The same data reveal a really worrying statistic. Around 70% of Americans who are in debt don’t want the debt but see it as a necessity to achieve their goals.
How do you analyze personal finance?
The most direct approach is to do a complete analysis of your assets (what you own) and your liabilities (what you owe). That will give you a rough estimate of your leverage ratio, and it’s a good indicator of financial health that you can use to track your financial health.
From there, another key metric you’ll want to know is your debt-to-income ratio by comparing what you owe to your gross monthly income. Generally, it’s a number you’ll want to work on lowering both for your own sake, and if you want to show lenders you’re creditworthy.
Many financial planning apps can help you analyze your finance statistics. If you haven’t already, give some of them a try when you’re starting your personal finance journey.
Concluding Personal Finance Statistics
So, how do you feel having read all the above? We’d like to think these are financial literacy statistics that will help you gain full control over your budget, savings, and spendings. You already know that in today’s age, information is key in all areas. With these personal finance statistics, we’ve given you exactly that.
Now, it’s up to you to use them to your advantage!