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Americans Divided Down the Middle on Future of Personal Finances

Surveys are beginning to show Americans are pretty unsure how their finances will hold up for the next four years given the general anxiety and angst among many consumers with the changes in the federal government.

A new poll by Experian found 51% of respondents believe their own personal finances will improve and 37% feel everyone’s general financial status will get better over the next four years. Among the 49% who do not feel this way, 21% feel their personal finances will get worse over the next four years.

Nevertheless, consumers in general plan to take action this year to boost income, cut expenses, and reduce credit card balances.

Experian found 35% of survey respondents said they will make a “drastic” change. The top changes cited, tied at 43%, include looking for a better-paying job and increasing overall savings. Thirty-nine percent of those surveyed said they will decrease their spending.

Among those survey respondents who think their personal finances will get worse over the next four years, the steps they plan to take to address this include cutting back on expenses (66%) and getting an additional job (34%).

The top financial goal for the next four years for all respondents is to save more (41%), followed by being a smarter shopper (12%) and paying off credit card debt (10%).

The sentiment differed by political party with Republican respondents having higher rates of optimism — 70% believe their personal situation will improve and 77% feel all Americans’ financial status will improve, while only 36% (personal finances) and 19% (all Americans) of Democrats agree. Fifty-one percent of Independents believe their personal finances will improve and 44% believe improvement is coming for everyone.

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