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State of Personal Finance 2021 Annual Report by Ramsey Solutions Reveals Americans Are Hopeful About Finances in 2022

FEBRUARY 28, 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn.Despite a downward trend in the overall assessment of Americans and personal finances in 2021, 80 percent said they are hopeful about their financial situation for 2022. According to The State of Personal Finance 2021 Annual Report published by Ramsey Solutions, optimism is consistent for those who are in debt versus those who are debt-free. But those in debt were nearly twice as likely to say their finances were struggling or in crisis.

The study also found that 1 in 4 Americans said inflation had a “significant impact” on their day-to-day finances.

“So many people’s first response to the word ‘inflation’ is panic. There is no need to stockpile on toilet paper, canned food and gas. If you notice items on your grocery list are on the rise, take a step back and adjust your budget. Let your budget guide you on areas you need to beef up your cash flow and on other areas you cut can back,” says Rachel Cruze, financial expert and host of “The Rachel Cruze Show.”Throughout 2021, the number of people investing in traditional methods went down, and cryptocurrency became increasingly popular. Research also shows that younger investors were quicker to jump into the cryptocurrency market.“Cryptocurrency is like Mary Kay for young men,” says personal finance expert George Kamel. “Get-rich-quick schemes are just that — schemes. Don’t pour all your hopes, dreams and money into them. Investing in crypto is not a good way to build wealth for the future.”Other key findings:

  • Personal finances and money in 2021 were consistently ranked as the No. 1 stressor among Americans, more so than health, family and career.
  • 26% of millennials found it difficult to pay their bills in the last three months of 2021.
  • 52% of Americans in debt said their personal finances caused them to lose sleep.
  • 94% of baby boomers noticed higher prices on things they buy in the last three months of 2021, compared to 87% of Gen X and 76% of millennials.
  • Buy now, pay later services increased in Q4 to 23% of Americans using it within the last three months, compared to 22% in Q3 and 20% in Q2. Millennials used this plan the most out of any other generation.

Source: The State of Personal Finance study is a quarterly research study conducted by Ramsey Solutions. The Q4 wave was conducted with 1,003 U.S. adults to gain an understanding of the personal finance behaviors and attitudes of Americans. The nationally representative sample was fielded December 13, 2021, to December 21, 2021, using a third-party research panel. 

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