KeyBank Survey: Americans More Confident in Finances than before Pandemic

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Americans are more confident in their finances and have more emergency savings than before the pandemic, a survey by KeyBank has found.

In its 2020 Financial Resiliency Survey, the Cleveland bank found 53% of respondents were more financially confident at the end of the year than at the beginning of the year. In addition, just over half – 51% – reported having at least $2,000 immediately available in case of an emergency, up from 42% in the 2019 edition of the survey.

“Given the major toll that the pandemic has taken across the country —from lost income to sickness and loss of loved ones—Americans have demonstrated strength under pressure, ability to respond to a tough economic environment and resilience in the face of financial hardship,” KeyBank said in its survey report.

Since the pandemic began, 41% of respondents said they are spending less. Of those nearly three-quarters say they’re spending less on discretionary items such as travel, dining and entertainment. In that same category, 14% of those spending less say they are borrowing from friends or family.

Meanwhile, 42% of respondents said their spending habits have not changed.

The KeyBank survey also found a generational divide in financial confidence response. While 53% of the respondents overall said they were more confident that at the start of 2020, 51% of those over the age of 50 did not feel greater confidence, while 60% of those 35 and under did.

“Part of this could be attributed to growing financial awareness among Millennials and Gen Z as a result of the pandemic, with 31% saying they felt they had become significantly more financially aware in 2020, compared to just 22% of all respondents,” the survey report said.

Conducted between Sept. 30 and Oct. 2, the KeyBank 2020 Financial Resiliency Survey was conducted online and gathered 1,204 respondents between the ages of 18 and 70 who have sole or shared responsibility for household financial decisions.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.