- Most Americans (82 percent) say they want personal finance
advice that includes topics like side hustles, investing, budgeting
and debt management
- 4 out of 5 say their financial situation is causing anxiety,
with housing costs a top factor
- 43 percent of Americans say they do not earn enough money to
put anything into savings after paying expenses and 66 percent have
no financial plan
CHICAGO, Sept. 13,
2023 /PRNewswire/ - The latest BMO Real
Financial Progress Index reveals that amid current economic
conditions, such as inflation and rising interest rates, 4 out of 5
(80 percent) Americans say their financial situation is causing
them financial anxiety with most (82 percent) interested in seeking
advice on personal finance goals to improve their situation.
Top areas of interest where Americans want help growing and
managing their money to achieve financial security include the
- Investing (43 percent)
- Side hustles (37 percent)
- Saving (27 percent)
- Budgeting (25 percent)
- Debt management (25 percent)
Additionally, with most Americans (80 percent) saying their
financial situation is causing anxiety, the top factors driving
- Fear of unknown expenses (83 percent)
- Housing costs (67 percent)
- Family-related expenses (68 percent)
- Medical expenses (62 percent)
- Credit card debt (51 percent)
In fact, year-over-year, more Americans say their concerns over
housing costs, credit card debt, and keeping up with monthly bills
and are preventing them from making real financial progress.
Additionally, 43 percent of Americans say they do not earn enough
money to put anything into savings after paying expenses.
"Given the current economic climate, it's clear people want to
take action to become more financially secure – even going so far
as to think about additional sources of income. Ultimately, what
these findings show is that Americans want additional financial
advice and resources to help with money management," said
Paul Dilda, Head of Consumer
Strategy at BMO. "With increasing costs proving challenging for
many, it's important that Americans know there are free resources
available to help make financial progress – even in uncertain
periods – such as meeting with your banker to create a budget and
help build a personalized plan to make the most of their money that
also address the various sources of income a person may have."
As elevated inflation continues,
nearly half of Americans aren't making financial progress
With the current inflation surge now stretching past two years,
nearly half (46 percent) of Americans say they are not making
financial progress. Out of those who are not making progress, 36
percent said they are not getting ahead with their savings or
goals. Additionally, 66 percent say they have no written financial
According to BMO Economics, the U.S. inflation rate has
accelerated to 3.3 percent in July with the Fed target range for
interest rates hovering between 5.25 to 5.5 percent. Additionally,
home prices for the country's 20 largest cities climbed 0.9
percent in June, the fourth straight monthly gain.
"U.S. consumer confidence fell more than expected in August amid
still-elevated food and gas prices, softening labor market
conditions and economic uncertainty," said Michael Gregory, Deputy Chief Economist and Head
of U.S. Economics at BMO. "Despite this and after several Fed rate
hikes, the economy is still growing – 2 percent in the most recent
quarter – and consumer price inflation has come down nicely from
last summer's 40-year high of 9.1 percent to just above 3 percent.
Looking forward, the Federal Reserve has made it clear that a 2
percent inflation rate target is still the goal, but that we have a
long way to go."
Americans rely on bankers,
financial advisors, and digital banking apps to make financial
The Index also found that more Americans are relying on their
banker or financial advisor today to reach their financial goals
compared to a year ago – 53 percent compared to 49 percent in
Americans also say they have a strong preference for digital
banking apps that provide useful resources, with 7 in 10 (70
percent) saying the tips and tools in their digital banking app
help them make real financial progress. 54 percent of Americans
have seen improvement in their financial progress since using their
digital banking app, and nearly half (49 percent) say they have set
specific financial goals through their digital banking
"These BMO Real Financial Progress Index findings reinforce the
fact that customers want leading digital experiences that help them
do more with their money. BMO is committed to meeting our
customers' evolving needs and expectations with the digital tools
they need," said Mat Mehrotra, Chief Digital Officer at BMO.
"At BMO, we blend both human and digital experiences that offer
professional financial advice on digital banking, budgeting, debt
management and more."
BMO provides customers with tools to build financial
- SmartProgress: Tips and resources for everything
from building financial resilience, homeownership, preparing for
retirement, budgeting, and more.
- Savings Goal: With BMO's mobile app, customers
can set up, track progress, and reach savings goals.
- Credit View: In collaboration with
TransUnion®, BMO gives customers no-fee, no-impact
access to credit scores to start monitoring and learn steps to
- Total Look: Customers can easily view,
track, and manage their BMO and non-BMO financial information, from
checking and savings accounts to credit cards, investments, loans,
- Assist: An AI-augmented platform – blending
the best of both human emotion and empathy with the speed and
efficiency of computer intelligence – allows customers to ask
account and banking-related questions via its chatbot and live chat
with a banker during business hours.
BMO helps Americans take control
of their money
In addition to regularly meeting with your banker or financial
advisor to make sure your savings and payment patterns are on track
to reach both near- and long-term goals, additional tips
- Track your incoming and outgoing money flow as well as expenses
that will help build the framework to create an accurate
- Establish and build credit with credit-building solutions such
as a credit building loan or secure card – and monitor your credit
report score and activity often.
- Set up a savings goal and recurring savings transfers into an
account – no matter the amount – which will provide a sense of
progress and motivation to achieve your savings goal.
- Make a budget or savings plan specifically for large purchases
like a car, vacation, or new appliance.
About the BMO Real Financial
The research detailed in this document was conducted by Ipsos in
the United States from
June 27 to July 28, 2023. A sample of
n=2,500 adults ages 18+ in the US was collected. Quotas and
weighting were used to ensure the sample's composition reflects
that of the U.S. population according to census parameters.
To learn more about how BMO can help customers make financial
progress, visit: www.bmo.com/en-us/main/personal/.
About BMO Financial
BMO Financial Group is the eighth largest bank in North America by assets, with total assets of
$1.25 trillion as of July 31, 2023. Serving customers for 200 years
and counting, BMO is a diverse team of highly engaged employees
providing a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth
management, global markets and investment banking products and
services to over 13 million customers across Canada, the United
States, and in select markets globally. Driven by a single
purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, BMO
is committed to driving positive change in the world, and making
progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future, and inclusive
SOURCE BMO Financial Group