Research Outline

How Americans Feel About Money


Provide quantitative information surrounding Americans' feelings about money to help in designing a fintech app addressing the issues faced.
  • Specifically, to have statistics such as the percentage of Americans that have anxiety towards money.
  • To have statistics about the percentage of Americans that find money to be fun.
  • To have the percentage of Americans that think about money daily as well as statistical details about what particularly they think about
  • To understand the financial problems Americans are trying to solve.

Early Findings

Data Availability

The initial round of research indicates that data availability is adequate on this topic.


  • Although the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated Americans' feelings of anxiety towards money, a large number reported financial anxiety even before its onset. According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, 60% of US adults surveyed indicated feeling anxious when thinking about their finances prepandemic, while 50% reported feeling stressed when discussing their finances.
  • Additionally, 52% of respondents surveyed by Northwestern Mutual in 2018 reported feelings of financial insecurity, while 48% reported fear with regards to their personal finances.
  • Women experienced more anxiety regarding their personal finances prepandemic (65%) compared to men 54%.
  • A survey conducted by the National Endowment for Financial Education indicated that 88% of Americans reported the COVID-19 crisis causing stress in their personal finances in April 2020 while 84% reported the same in September 2020.
  • A survey conducted by NextAdvisor at the start of the pandemic showed that the major causes of financial anxiety among Americans following the outbreak include overall debt (37%), credit card debt (21%), other debts, such as personal loans, mortgage, and student loans (24%), lack of savings (35%), and loss of employment/income (31%).
  • According to the survey, the major cause of financial anxiety among Gen Zers and millennials is job or income loss (40%), a lack of savings for Gen X (42%), and the planning for retirement for Baby boomers (27%).
  • On the other hand, according to a study on the US population with "incomes up to $80,000/y, larger incomes were associated with significantly higher levels of four of the five positive feelings (confident, good, interested, and proud) and significantly lower levels of all negative feelings (afraid, angry, bad, bored, sad, stressed, and upset). Above $80,000/y, larger incomes were associated with significantly higher levels of all positive feelings (confident, good, inspired, interested, and proud) and significantly lower levels of four of the seven negative feelings (bad, bored, sad, and upset)."


In the initial of research, we have been able to provide some statistics regarding how Americans feel about money, including the percentage of Americans with financial anxiety both before and after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have also provided some demographics on the gender and generations with various levels as well as main causes of anxiety . Based on the data availability, we anticipate being able to fully answer all the research questions.