When it comes to money, there are lots of numbers to tell you how you’re doing, like how much you have in the bank, your credit score, or the number of months left on your mortgage or student loan.
While those numbers are important, they don’t tell the whole story about your financial situation. To help you see where you stand, we’ve created the interactive Financial Well-Being tool. After you answer ten questions, you’ll see your financial well-being score. The score is a number that helps sum up how well your financial situation and money choices are providing you with financial security and freedom of choice. The questionnaire won’t ask you for your monthly spending or account balances—it’s a different kind of tool. Instead, it asks you to think about how your money situation supports your goals. And, we never collect or store the answers you provide.
Three ways your Financial Well-Being score helps you
1. Think about how to improve your financial well-being
As you answer the ten questions, you may find yourself mentally identifying money issues you’d like to take care of, or goals you’d like to set for yourself. After you complete the questionnaire you’ll find a list of CFPB resources that can help you get started. Whether you’re ready to take action on your own, or looking for more personalized help, our tools and resources can help.
2. Track your score to measure changes
When you’re done answering the questions, you’ll see a single number that describes your current financial well-being. The score reflects your own sense of how you’re doing, according to the definition of financial well-being:
- Having control over day-to-day, month-to-month finances
- Having the capacity to absorb a financial shock
- Being on track to meet your financial goals
- Having the financial freedom to make the choices that allow you to enjoy life
Your score likely won’t change from day to day. But if you take this opportunity to start to make improvements in your money situation, goals, or choices, you can retake the questionnaire down the road to see the impact on your score.
3. If you’re interested, compare your score to other U.S. adults
Your state of financial well-being is unique to you. Two people with the same financial well-being score could be in very different circumstances. (And two people in the same circumstances could have very different financial well-being scores.) If you’re curious, you can see average scores for others like you—by age, employment status, and household income.
For practitioners, researchers, and policymakers: Financial well-being survey report and data set
We recently fielded the National Financial Well-Being Survey. We asked a sample of people designed to be representative of U.S. households to answer the ten items on the Financial Well-Being questionnaire, as well as a series of questions on other personal, household, and financial topics. The results of the survey help assess the state of financial well-being in America. The survey report contains detailed tables, charts, and statistics that can help researchers, practitioners, and policymakers explore how financial well-being relates to other factors.
- People’s sense of financial well-being varies significantly in ways that are not entirely aligned with differences in income, education and other commonly used economic measures.
- People’s sense of financial well-being is grounded in real life financial circumstances.
- Many factors associated with large differences in levels of financial well-being are currently the focus of a range of financial capability programs.
Researchers who want to do their own analysis can access a public use data set from the Financial Well-Being survey. The fully anonymized data from the national survey can be used to examine the connections between financial well-being and other factors. We hope that these resources inspire financial educators, researchers, and others to pursue new directions in supporting consumers’ financial well-being.
This article by was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.