Crunching Numbers

You have the hot car, fast-paced career and sexy place by the beach. But is the rest of America in the same place? See how you measure up to these numbers from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s most recent Financial Capability Study.
Text by Cristina Zuazua | June 6, 2018 | Lifestyle

1. Spend vs. Save: Despite the tough economy, the rate of Americans spending more than they make has decreased in the past 5 years.

2. What’s Up, Doc? More than 25% of Americans, mostly in the 18-34 age bracket, have some level of medical debt on their books

3. Just In Case: 40% of those surveyed in 2012 said they have a rainy day fund, as opposed to 35% of respondents in 2009.

4. Bringing Home The Bacon: Nearly 50% of respondents paid their credit cards bills in full when last surveyed, up almost 10% from previous years.

5. In The Know? Despite some of the promising points, only about 60% of adults could answer basic questions on compound interest, inflation and diversification correctly.

6. Comparison Shopping: With little fluctuation in a 3-year period, about 60% of respondents said they did not compare pricing when getting credit cards.

7. All About Equity: We all know about the housing crisis post-2008, but nearly 80% of the most recent respondents had their mortgages under control.

8. Alternate Options: In 2012, 1/3 of borrowers said they didn’t use the bank to borrow money. Not sure if we should ask…

9. A-Okay: A surprising 42% of those surveyed said they were neutral on their current financial situation, while 24% said they were completely satisfied.

10. Looking Forward: 54% of respondents said they had set up retirement accounts — if you haven’t yet, make sure to get moving on one!

To read the full National Financial Capability Study and view state-by-state statistics and more, visit