Affinity’s ‘Wellbeing and Your Wallet’ Index: Majority of adults have negative outlook on economy over next 12 months

Affinity Federal Credit Union released findings from its latest Wellbeing and Your Wallet Index, capturing sentiment around the overall financial well-being of consumers, a cornerstone of the culture within Affinity’s community.

The index analyzed results from a 39-question survey completed by 3,086 adults in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. The survey, completed in April, addressed key financial well-being concerns, including financial stress, the ability to pay for everyday staples and affording the cost of a life emergency.

Key findings include:

  • 55% of people somewhat or strongly agreed finances were a significant source of stress. The number of people experiencing financial stress due to the economy or other factors rose 8% from the Winter 2023 Wellbeing and Your Wallet Index. A significantly higher number of respondents from younger generations, compared with older generations, see their finances as a stressor. Additionally, 29% of people are concerned about having enough money to pay for food in the next month. Food security was the biggest concern for millennials (37%) and Gen Z (36%) adults.
  • 47% of individuals remained optimistic about their financial future. Despite increasing financial stress, optimism remained steady quarter-over-quarter. Broken down by generation, Gen Z (57%) and millennial (54%) adults were the most optimistic respondents. Baby boomers (44%) and Gen X (43%) were least optimistic. Stepping back and looking at the broad economy, 60% stated they have a negative outlook over the next year.
  • Less than half of respondents felt confident about handling the cost of an emergency. 49% of people were somewhat or strongly confident in their ability to cover costs related to an unforeseen life event, down 9% from the winter survey. Older generations had a significantly higher self-assurance than younger people. 39% of those surveyed said building an emergency fund was a top financial priority, behind paying off debt (47%) and saving for retirement (46%).
  • 54% were taking on or strongly considering a second job or gig work to supplement their income. A side job or gig work was considerably more common among millennials (70%), Gen Z (69%) and Gen X (62%), compared to baby boomers (35%) and the silent generation (23%).

“It’s clear that people are feeling more stressed about their finances in light of the current economy,” Jacqui Kearns, chief brand and well-being officer at Affinity Federal Credit Union, said. “Through the Wellbeing and Your Wallet Index and our branch and online services, our goal is to continue providing resources and support to help individuals navigate these challenges and improve their financial well-being.”

Grant Gallagher, assistant vice president, head of financial well-being and brand communications at Affinity Federal Credit Union, added: “It’s important to note that, while there are concerns about finances and the economy, nearly half of individuals remain optimistic about their financial futures. We continue to see consistent findings across age groups in terms of optimism levels. As a member-owned institution focused on nurturing our members’ financial well-being, we do our utmost to provide guidance and support during tough economic times that are catered to meet individuals where they are at each stage of life.”

Affinity partnered with Drive Research for the survey.