KeyBank: Financial Stress High to Start 2023

CLEVELAND – More than half of Americans are facing financial challenges as 2023 begins, according to KeyBank’s 2023 Financial Mobility Survey.

A year ago, the survey found 37% felt they faced financial challenges in the past year, but for this year’s survey, that number escalated to 55%.

Additionally, the survey found only 40% felt certain they could come up with $2,000 in an emergency, which was down from 51% in 2022.

“The last several years have taken a toll on individuals, impacting their financial and mental well-being,” said Jamie Warder, head of digital banking at KeyBank. “The uptick in income decline and consistency of financial faux pas has made many consumers feel less savvy about their finances this year 
compared to last. Yet, despite all this, Americans find themselves much more mindful about money going into 2023.”

The majority (85%) reported they strongly desire to become more aware of their financial picture, and many young Americans reported feeling burnout due to the financial uncertainty over the past three years.

The survey, which polled more than 1,000 Americans on their financial, life and work-related priorities after the year of market volatility and uncertainty, found that 2 in 5 people (42%) reported they feel overwhelmed or burned out regularly. But the younger people are being hit hardest, with 52% of millennials and younger and 54% of those under age 35 reporting suffering from burnout. Only 39% of those feeling burned out reacted by spending less and budgeting more.

Despite their financial challenges, 78% of millennials or younger made a big purchase last year, while 78% reported they will make a big purchase again in 2023.

Some of the things that help many Americans feel more resilient: having financial information (55%); having digital banking tools (47%) or having a financial advisor (36%), which were all increases from last year. 

Only 39% of Midwestern residents felt they were somewhat savvy about their financial situation. Despite inflation, 66% of consumers surveyed plan to make one large purchase in the next year, but only 26% in the Midwest feel confident they will be able to grow their finances.

A third of people surveyed said they are navigating their finances to not make financial faux pas while categorizing their wants and their needs.

Despite concerns about finances, the survey reports 62% still believe having a work-life balance is more important than a high-paying salary.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.