NORTHBROOK, Ill., Feb. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Just half (50 percent) of Americans say they have enough money left over at the end of the month after paying for essentials according to the new, second installment of Allstate Financial's "Life Tracks" poll. More than four in 10 (41 percent) are living paycheck-to-paycheck while another 8 percent say they don't earn enough each month to pay for essentials. In the late December 2012 survey, responses pointed to an overall lack of financial management skills and resources, but a strong desire to do a better job in 2013.
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"This second Allstate Life Tracks Poll takes the pulse of Americans to measure the health of their personal financial situations," said Don Civgin, president and chief executive officer of Allstate Financial. "Too many Americans are faced with financial challenges today that lead to an unstable future. As financial services professionals, how we bridge that gap and bring greater awareness to the financial issues people are facing, is the true test of measurable success in our industry."
The Allstate Life Tracks Poll is intended to uncover attitudes and behaviors based on a respondent's "life track," or the major life events that individuals face at varying stages of life (see www.allstate.com/financial). The following represents the top findings from the survey on how Americans are managing their personal finances.
Divided we stand
The split between those with money left over after paying for expenses and those that don't is reinforced by findings from the poll. An even 50 percent of respondents feel their personal financial situation is "excellent" or "good," while another 50 percent say it is "fair" or "poor."
Still, despite the range of financial experiences, nearly all (91 percent) are confident in their own ability to manage their personal finances. This overt optimism trickles down to major milestone expenses along with future security perceptions.
Although they have earnest intentions to pay off debt, Americans are "treading water" when it comes to debt, savings and investments. Eighty-two percent of Americans say they make some kind of debt-related payment each month.
Every day, Americans consciously decide to place a higher priority on activities other than their finances, yet they recognize they need to do more to improve their financial situations. On average, Americans say they spend just under three hours per week paying bills and managing their household finances. This is about a quarter of the time they say they spend watching television (12 hours), and one-third of the time they spend surfing the Internet (9.2 hours).
To motivate consumers to take action on their personal financial situation, Allstate has developed online resources and a compelling, yet humorous video series, produced by everyday people who responded to a crowdsourced call for entries. The first video launched today, featuring "Hank," a baby who helps put priorities into perspective. Two other videos from different perspectives will follow in the coming weeks.
While an individual's recommended actions for tackling their financial fitness challenges depend on his or her personal situation, three basics are relevant to everyone:
Reported results are from a nationally representative survey of 1,000 American adults age 18+. The survey was conducted December 15-19, 2012 via landline and cell phone. The survey has a margin of error of +/-3.1% in 95 out of 100 cases. The survey was conducted by FTI Consulting, Inc
The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer, serving approximately 16 million households through its Allstate, Encompass, Esurance and Answer Financial brand names and Allstate Financial business segment. Allstate branded insurance products (auto, home, life and retirement) and services are offered through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives, as well as via www.allstate.com, www.allstate.com/financial and 1-800 Allstate®, and are widely known through the slogan "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®." As part of Allstate's commitment to strengthen local communities, The Allstate Foundation, Allstate employees, agency owners and the corporation provided $29 million in 2012 to thousands of nonprofit organizations and important causes across the United States.