A headline in our local paper, The San Diego Union Tribune, caught my eye today as it encouragingly announced that “Californians manage finances better than peers.”
That ain’t saying a whole lot though. According to a study released today by an arm of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, my financial woes are more the norm than the aberration. Apparently, most people in the state are trying to “keep up with the Jones’” and despite outside appearances are actually living hand-to-mouth.
Highlights of the study include:
- 50 percent of Californians are living paycheck-to-paycheck - spending more than or roughly equal to their household income each month - slightly below the nationwide average of 55 percent
- 21 percent of Californians say that over the past year, they have spent more than their income, not including borrowing for major purchases such as cars or homes. That's roughly even with the national average of 20 percent.
- 58 percent of Californians lack a “rainy day” fund, roughly equal to the nationwide average of 60 percent.
- 36 percent of Californians are dissatisfied with their current mix of debts, assets and savings.