The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a significant chunk of Americans to change the way they think about money.
New York Life's recent "Wealth Watch" survey found that 46% of American adults now say Covid is a factor they take into account when considering their financial strategy for the year. New York Life surveyed 2,200 adults between Dec. 8 and Dec. 11, 2021, and the data was weighted to "approximate a target sample of adults based on gender, educational attainment, age, race and region."
In fact, the pandemic has "shifted the emphasis" from long-term goals to short-term goals for many Americans, the survey found. Roughly 4 in 10 Americans are focused on building an emergency fund, while 31% are working to pay off credit card debt and 27% are focusing on paying for a vacation.
Specifically, the survey found that Americans are aiming to save an average of $5,710 in 2022.
"Across the board, we have seen Covid-19 impact financial futures and daily lives," New York Life senior vice president Aaron Ball said in a statement. "Now Americans are trying to evaluate and re-prioritize their financial outlook."
Going into 2022, 39% of respondents said they were "hopeful," while 25% said they felt that they were "on track toward a goal/lifestyle."
The adults who were most confident in their lifestyle cited factors including emergency savings and managing their debt as reasons for their peace of mind, while those who were less confident in their finances said that their lack of savings and trouble managing debt were factors.
Younger Americans have a significant interest in seeking professional financial help, New York Life found, with 32% of millennials and 23% of Gen Zers saying they wanted financial guidance to help develop a strategy to increase their savings.