Americans believe the average day costs this much
  • 2 months ago
Time is money — Americans believe the average day is worth $134, according to new research.

A survey of 2,000 U.S. adults revealed that, aside from their job, Americans think that they do $134 of work when factoring in cleaning (64%), cooking (55%) and driving (41%).

Though the average respondent spends $35 on any given day, 39% wish there would be some additional income as well.

In fact, if an additional $270 were readily available each day, Americans would feel more financially free.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Experian, the survey looked at all of the ways Americans define “financial freedom” and found that for 54%, it simply means having no debt.

For others, it means having a substantial emergency fund (33%), being able to pay bills for six months without worry (33%) or spending less time worrying about their finances (25%).

Results also revealed that only one-third of Americans currently feel financially free.

Of the 48% who feel financially restricted, not needing to stick to a budget each month (42%), not having to monitor their bank account before or after every purchase (38%) or having an “excellent” credit score (29%) would make them feel more liberated.

Currently, the average American makes a salary of about $65,000 ($65,054.20) — only about two-thirds of the average salary they’d need to make in order to feel financially free ($102,950.10).

This may be why only 21% of financially restricted respondents believe that they’ll ever be free. Those respondents estimate that freedom will come only about 10 years before retirement age, or around 54.

“While financial freedom can be defined differently for different people, the one common denominator is people want to live more financially empowered lives,” said Christina Roman, Experian’s consumer education and advocacy manager. “Financial literacy is key to achieving this. Accessing tools and resources that you can trust is the first step to increasing your financial knowledge and navigating your individual situation.”

The survey also looked at the debts Americans have and found that while 25% don’t have any, others have credit card debt (47%), a mortgage or home loan (23%), auto loans (22%) and health or medical debt (21%).

Those respondents estimate it’ll take an average of six years to fully pay them off, though 7% don’t believe they’ll ever do so.

Debt worries plague Americans so much that the average person thinks about them 120 times every month, or about four times every day.

Three in five respondents have been more cautious about their spending habits in the last five years. This may be because many are hoping to make large purchases such as a car or vehicle (48%), a vacation (36%) and home renovations (27%).

Realistically, the average respondent believes that they’ll be able to make those spends within the next four years.

In 2024, Americans are taking steps towards financial freedom, including working to pay off their debts (58%), spending less on non-essentials (50%) and putting money into their savings account every month (42%).

“Financial freedom is a marathon, not a sprint and there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach,” said Roman. “Whether you’re managing existing debt, building credit or saving for a house, it’s important to research and identify the steps that will put you on a path to becoming more financially independent and achieving your goals. There are resources for consumers looking to improve their financial health, regardless of what stage of the financial journey they’re on.”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population Americans was commissioned by Experian between Jan. 12 and Jan. 18, 2024. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).