Set Financial Priorities During High Inflation Economy

Our COUNTRY Financial® survey1 revealed more than 8 in 10 Americans believe the economy is heading for a recession. Many feel prepared to weather the difficult economy but expect to need to set priorities and cut back on some expenses to be successful.

Feeling good about money

More than 6 in 10 Americans are feeling good or excellent about their financial security and are able to set aside money for savings and investments.  

COVID-19 having little impact on financial security 

Just 2 in 10 Americans say COVID-19 has negatively impacted their financial security in the past year. 

How high inflation impacts consumers

Who thinks they're prepared, what are the top priorities, and how many are looking for savings on their insurance? Find out with the results of our survey.

Who’s feeling financially prepared?

  • Boomers – 68%

  • Gen X – 52%

  • Millennials – 52%

  • Gen Z – 29%

What Americans won’t give up

  • Savings – 32%

  • Streaming services/TV – 27%

  • Travel: by car – 19%; by plane – 16%

  • Pampering at spas and salons – 12%

Exploring insurance savings

  • Review my coverage with agent – 13%

  • Ask about available discounts – 12%

  • Shop with another provider – 12%

  • Ask about changing deductible – 4%

  • Take no action to find savings – 70%

Consider options before adjusting goals and pausing savings

More than half of Americans say the overall state of the economy has caused them to cut back on spending to make ends meet (52%) in the last six months, with 18% citing significant cuts. If you are feeling like others who are putting less money into savings (38%) and even tapping into savings (30%) to make ends meet, consider these options:

1. Tighten your budget

During difficult economies, you need to set priorities in your budget. Track your spending to find ways to save. Use this budget calculator to help.

2. Boost your income

  • Ask for a raise. With labor shortages, asking for a raise may be easier than ever.
  • Sell your stuff. You may be able to get top dollar selling used items that are in high demand, like cars, RVs and boats. Even a closet cleanout could boost your budget.

3. Commit to three financial principles

  • Live on less than you earn – Combine steps 1 and 2 to balance your budget.

  • Commit to saving - 42% of Americans surveyed say they will still prioritize saving even if a recession happens and if inflation continues to rise.

  • Maintain your emergency fund - 38% of those surveyed have prioritized their emergency fund.

Navigating rising costs to achieve goals

Spend less, save more and prepare for the future – all the right goals. But trips to the grocery store and gas station combined with rising utility bills challenge your ability to achieve them. Meet with your representative to discuss options.

  • Manage insurance costs - Insurance companies are adjusting to a market with rising inflation. As the cost of homes and cars goes up, so do the costs to repair or replace them. Most home insurance doesn’t account for inflation. Ours can. Also, check your discounts, deductibles and coverage to find ways to save money while staying protected.
  • Commit to your goals – Work with your representative to discuss how to stay focused on your goals or find new paths to achieve them. Start with a conversation.
  • Stay informed – If you’d like to learn more, read how our team of experts2 assesses financial trends in our Market Economic Outlook.
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More resources

1The COUNTRY Financial Security Index® survey of 1,000 U.S. adults, fielded by market researcher Ipsos.

2Financial planning professionals with COUNTRY® Trust Bank (CTB) and its Investment Solutions Representatives, who provide marketing, solicitation, and client assistance on CTB’s behalf; sales of products by Registered Representatives of COUNTRY® Capital Management Company. The specific team(s) involved will vary by need. 

The COUNTRY Financial Security Index survey has measured Americans' feelings about their personal financial security since 2007. Surveys are conducted using Ipsos' KnowledgePanel®— a national, probability-based panel, designed to be representative of the general population and includes responses from approximately 1,330 U.S. adults for national surveys. The margin of sampling error for a survey based on this many interviews is approximately +/- 3.2 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.  See the full results.

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