While most Americans have survived the epidemic financially, some 38 million say their condition is worse now than it was before the outbreak in the United States.
Overall, 55% of Americans say their financial situation is about the same as a year ago, և 30% say their finances have improved. But 15% say their condition is worse.
The problem is more pronounced at low-yield levels. 29% of Americans living below the federal poverty line say their personal finances have worsened over the past year. Roughly speaking, many also find themselves in a deepening financial hole, saying that they have found it difficult to pay their bills in the last three months.
Britney Frick, 27, is among those whose finances have hit hard. He worked as a substitute teacher before the epidemic, but his role was abolished. At first he found a telecommunications job that allowed him to work from home, but the hours began to diminish and then dried up altogether.
Frick was out of work for six months, but was able to make ends meet by using his savings to lower his rent and help his parents.
“I am slowly getting up, but I do not find anywhere where I was before KOVID,” he said.
Frick got a job in a March day care room, և a steady job helps him regain his financial image.
“I still live for a salary, but at least the salary covers the bills,” he said. “But I’m glad I got back to work honestly, I’m glad everything is going well.”
The epidemic has caused devastation to the economy. The United States still has 8.4 million fewer jobs than it had in February 2020, just before the epidemic began.
In response, the government passed three major bills that included direct assistance payments to individuals. It has helped alleviate the suffering of some.
At the beginning of last month, the last round of government payments of $ 1,400 was sent to individuals __. Households, on average, use or plan to use about a third of the money to pay off debt, spend about 25 percent of it and put the rest into savings, according to a report released last week by the Federal Reserve in New York. This closely reflected the cost of previous assistance payments.
Overall, the Impact Genome / AP-NORC survey found that 52% of Americans said they had been able to save money in the past three months, while 37% had equalized and 10% had paid less. 29% of Americans living below the poverty line say they have recently had difficulty paying their bills, while only 16% have saved. For comparison, 61% of those living well above the poverty line say they have been able to save.
There are widespread racial discrepancies, with 57% of white Americans, 47% of Hispanics, and 39% of Americans saying they have been saved recently. Black Hispanic Americans are about twice as likely as white Americans to say they have fallen short in paying their bills.
Andrew Holland said his family’s finances were stable enough for most of the epidemic. The California resident worked as a hospital nurse և and his wife continued to work in a recycling plant. But the stress and isolation of the epidemic prompted him to reconsider his work.
Unlike the epidemic, he had no personal contact with colleagues or friends to ease some of the pressure of his work. So he quit his job and found a new job in hospice with fewer hours. His wife also got a new job with a better salary.
While their family finances were hit temporarily և they were spending some savings, he expects to recover. Hollande and his wife have started to pay more closely for their expenses and now plan to retire earlier.
“It really made me look at what I want to do, when I want to do it,” said Holland, 35. “I feel incredibly lucky that the worst that has happened is that I lost a month’s salary and went to work fewer hours.”
The survey found that many Americans, nearly a third, did not have the investments or similar long-term savings accounts that were created even before the epidemic. Another 19% said they were able to add more to investments such as the 401 (k) or college savings program, while 38% said the amount had not changed from the previous year.
Hollande said he was disappointed with the proportion of how the epidemic had spread to humans, and was concerned that the imbalance would never be rectified.
“I’m glad it made me look at my finances, to plan a little more for the future,” Holland said. “I would definitely like it to come at a much lower price for the whole world.”
The AP-NORC survey of 2,374 adults was conducted from February 12 to March 3 using a sample of the NORC probability-based AmeriSpeak panel designed to represent the U.S. population. The sampling error range for all respondents is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.