Bummed About Your Finances? It Might Have to Do With Your Political Views

Bummed About Your Finances? It Might Have to Do With Your Political Views
Political views/Getty Images

Roughly half of everyone who took a new Experian survey expect their personal financial status will improve in the next four years.

The notion that Americans are pretty evenly divided on matters of their personal financial health, or anything else really, isn’t really news.

But it gets really interesting when you sort the responses by political party.

This is Experian’s partisan breakdown of who believes their financial status will improve in the next four years.

  • 77% Republican
  • 44% Independent
  • 19% Democrat

Now, before anyone starts reading too far into those numbers, consider this: Supporters of the dominant party in power typically have the most optimistic personal financial outlook.

A Pew Research survey conducted in June 2012 (during a Democratic presidency) found “72% of Democrats expected their finances to improve over the coming year, while just 13% thought things would get worse.”

Americans are Taking Post-Election Financial Action

Once the November elections ended, 55% of Americans got busy taking a variety of financial actions.

  • 20% read news articles on how a new administration affects the economy
  • 9% started a budget
  • 6% checked their credit score
  • 2% increased their retirement contribution

Surprisingly, only 1% of those surveyed sought out a financial advisor.

That number is so low it hurts my eyes.

It’s always a good idea to get occasional financial advice, whether it’s from a professional advisor or your favorite personal finance website (ahem).

Every Financial Improvement Helps — No Matter How Small

Small-scale changes like making a budget or checking your credit score are terrific ways to get — and keep — a handle on your money.

Some survey respondents took their post-election actions a step further and say they’ll “make a drastic financial change in the next four years.”

  • 43% plan to get a better-paying job
  • 43% will increase their overall savings
  • 39% say they’ll decrease spending
  • 33% plan to pay off debts or loans
  • 31% will get a second job

Respondents who feel less optimistic about the future say they’re most worried about not having enough money for retirement, medical bills, or to support a family — all relatable issues for most of us.

Those respondents say they’ll cut back on expenses, downsize their homes, get a roommate, or borrow money when they start to feel the financial pinch. In other words, they’ll do the same things a lot of Penny Hoarders do when money is tight.

Experian’s survey began as a look at whether your political preferences determine your financial confidence. It concluded that, when it comes to money worries and goals, Americans are pretty similar, regardless of party.

Group hug, everyone.

Your turn: Do your political views affect how you feel about money?

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She upped her 401(k) contribution after the election but still worries about her retirement fund. She’s probably hugging her cat right now.