12 Personal Finance Statistics to Know in 2020

Financial stability is hard to achieve.

It can be a source of stress, fear, and worry for many Americans.

We were wondering:

What can personal finance statistics tell us about the state of affairs in 2020?

We all need a better handle of our money management.

How to do it and what to expect?

Let’s dive in and get to know things a bit better:

Personal Finance Statistics (Editor’s Choice):

  • 58% of Americans have less than $1,000 saved.
  • 8% of US citizens believe they will never recover from the recession.
  • Millennial Americans have a median emergency savings of just $2,000.
  • 20% of Americans don’t save any of their annual income.
  • 50% of American households live paycheck to paycheck.
  • Only 32% of US families maintain a household budget.
  • Americans hold a total of $1 trillion in credit card debt.

Our earnings seem to be covering less and less these days.


The cost of living seems to be getting higher.

This is why it is important to make sure you check out this list of essential personal finance stats. They will help you make the right plans your financial future right now.

Stats About Financial Literacy in the US

Financial literacy needs to be encouraged among the populace. So we’re going to kick off by looking at some of the country’s financial literacy stats.

Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

1. Only 24% of Millennials demonstrate basic financial literacy.

(Source: National Endowment for Financial Education)

This is a pretty sobering statistic when you think about it.

Less than a quarter of Millennials have a basic understanding of finances and the need to save and budget. This could be because of the rise in technology.

Millennial personal finance tools and options are more widespread than ever. But it seems that a lot of Millennials aren’t equipped to make the most of these. This is causing them to overlook the important aspects of their finances.

2. 44% of Americans don’t have enough cash to cover a $400 emergency.

(Source: MarketWatch)

Sometimes US financial statistics make for pretty grim reading. This is another example.

Can you imagine being this tight for cash? Worrying every day in case you face an emergency or disaster? Understanding the need to have savings is something that could well help to combat credit card debt and financial ruin.

Hold on, it gets worse…

3. Over 40% of student loan borrowers aren’t making payments.

(Source: The Wall Street Journal)

More Americans have a degree-level education than ever before. That should be a good thing. However, it has also led to a significant rise in student loan debt. The stat above shows the issues with that.

It is important for US citizens to come out of their education, get into a successful career, and make sure they are financially stable. However, this is hard to achieve that with student loans looming.

But that’s far from the country’s most common debt problem…

4. 38.1% of US households have credit card debt.

(Source: USA Today)

Credit card debt is one of the biggest debt problems that households face in the modern world. It’s estimated among the 38.1% with credit card debt, the average sum owed is around $16,048!

Further statistics imply that Baby Boomers and Gen X-ers have twice more debt than Millenials. But younger generations tend to use credit cards more in America. Thus 36% of Gen X-ers and younger tend to use a credit card in the US.

Credit cards are an important safety net for some families.

Beware though!

They can become a problem for those with a lack of financial literacy, who don’t fully understand the ramifications of credit card debt.

5. One-third of Americans have saved nothing for retirement.

(Source: Money)

Thinking about your financial future is so important. Not enough people take the time to do this!

More than half of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up. This is nowhere near enough for the future. The cost of living statistics suggest Millennials could need as much as $2.5 million to retire!

Those retirement stats are important to understand how much it matters to plan for the future. The figures surrounding the average retirement savings statistics show that most Americans require at least $1 million to retire.

This illustrates more than ever the importance of budgeting, saving, and planning.

Financial Planning and Budgeting

It’s imperative for Americans to understand the importance of planning and budgeting. So we are going to take a look at some of the most essential financial planning statistics.

6. Only around a quarter of Americans have some kind of written financial plan.

(Source: Schwab 2019 Modern Wealth Index)

Personal budgeting statistics suggest that only 25% of American citizens have or use some sort of written financial plan. That’s shockingly low!

You’re not expected to be a financial planner, but you should map out some kind of financial goal for the future.

It’s for your own good!

7. Only 30% of Americans have a long-term financial plan.

(Source: Gallup)

Personal budget statistics from Gallup show that there are only around 1 in 3 of us who actually use some sort of household budget plan. Given the fact that we have so many expenses these days, it’s really important to come up with a budget.

Only 30% have a long-term financial plan that involves thinking about savings and investments for the future.

This is something you need to look at getting sorted as soon as you can. It will help you plan for the future.

Personal Income Stats for Americans

We’re going to look at some of the personal financial statistics you should know about when it comes to personal income.

8. In 2017 the average US household’s median income for around $60,000.

(Source: US Census Bureau)

The median income for the average American household in 2017 was $60,336. It’s not as much money as you might think – many people struggle to make ends meet.

This number has risen to $63,688 as of January 2019. So, personal finance statistics show positive growth, right?

But might they be masking deeper problems?

9. Statistics suggest middle-aged Americans earn the most.

(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

According to the personal finance statistics 2018, it seems that the highest-earning Americans are the 45-54 year-olds. They take home an estimated annual income of $52,780.

Millennials, aged 16-24, took home around half of that figure ($28,028). Younger people need to focus on their personal finances, it seems!

Statistics About Saving Money in the US

Saving money is one of the most important aspects of the world of personal finance. Here are some pretty sobering statistics on saving money, to highlight the importance:

10. 80% of Americans’ retirement plan is to keep working!

(Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute)

This is not one of those saving money statistics you want to read about. It makes for pretty tragic circumstances. Apparently, 80% of Americans plan to keep working after retirement age. In fact, around 34% of workers surveyed planned on doing just that.

It is crazy to think that at 70, people would still be considering working. Especially when it comes to manual work!

But it really shouldn’t be that surprising.

11. 58% of US citizens have less than $1,000 in the bank.

(Source: GOBankingRates)

Many Americans are still having issues saving money on a regular basis. In fact, further studies indicate that women are worse at saving than men.  62% of the women surveyed were found to have less than $1,000 in savings.

Truth be told, we all need to work on our financial planning.

12. 70% of Americans say their financial planning needs work.

(Source: Northwestern Mutual)

The median savings of American households is just $4,833.

Yes. Just.

Making sure you have a strong financial plan in place will help you significantly in the future. Trying to set more money aside is crucial.

Cost of living stats suggest that it is more and more difficult to put money aside.

However, there are plenty of techniques that can help with this. From apps to seminars, there’s something for everyone out there.

In Conclusion

OK, you can breathe now.

It’s pretty clear that there are a lot of financial concerns for the average US citizen nowadays. It seems to be becoming more and more difficult to make ends meet. It’s important that you come up with ways of combating this. Whether it’s saving more money, trimming down your outstanding debts, or bringing more money into the home, healthy financial management habits are crucial.

You have the power to make a real change to your financial circumstances right now!

You can use these personal finance statistics to your advantage. Don’t let them bring you down. Learn from them!

Good luck and hopefully we’ll meet soon, on SpendMeNot.com!


How Many Americans are Financially Healthy?

According to CNBC, only 29% of Americans are actually financially healthy.

This is a frightening statistic! Only 29% of people believe they are planning, saving, and building toward a more positive future!

We’ve got chills down our spines!

What’s the Average Debt of an American?

According to personal finance stats, the average American has debts of around $38,000. This is just the figure for personal debt. It does not include mortgages. That figure has risen by $1,000 over the last year. Blame the rise in living costs for that one.

How Much Money Does the Average American Have in the Bank?

To gauge your own financial situation, it is important that you understand how others are doing.

So how much does the average American have in the bank? Well, CNBC stats suggest around $8,863 saved in an account.

Not great.


Christo is a bachelor in Economics, but he found a passion for crafting web content. He sees SpendMeNot as an opportunity to create engaging articles and help readers make informed financial decisions.

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