A greater number of Americans believe that their personal finances and the economy are in better shape than they were a year ago, according to a new survey from a unit of JPMorgan Chase (JPM).
Roughly 64% think that the economy is either stable or has already bottomed out and is getting better, compared with only 33% last year. Additionally, 65% of consumers believe that their personal finances have already bottomed out and are either constant or about to get better. This was up from 56% last year.
The 2012 Chase Pulse of the Consumer Survey also found that Americans have started controlling their daily expenses more since the economic downturn. Almost eight out of 10 respondents said that they are now spending less on daily expenses. To help get their finances in order, more than 60% of consumers have been paying down their credit card balances faster and more than half have created a monthly budget.
When budgeting for an unexpected $1,500 expense, almost half of respondents said they would pay for the expense with a credit card. Half of these consumers would pay the credit card bill in full while the other half would pay it off over time.
The survey also found that almost three quarters of Americans are most concerned about having enough money in savings. Despite this worry, only 36% said that they have put more money into savings since the economic downturn.
Seventy percent of Americans think online banking, credit card websites or both to be most valuable in managing their personal finances, the study found. Almost a quarter of Americans find bank and credit card mobile apps to be valuable.
Research Now, an independent research firm, conducted the survey for Chase Card Services, polling 1,019 adults online from July 30 to Aug. 10. The survey tracks Americans' financial habits and their attitudes toward the economy and their own finances.