: 10 ways American finances actually improved in 2022, despite high interest rates and a slump in stocks

by | Dec 26, 2022 | Stock Market

Many Americans are ending the year feeling gloomy about their finances, and you don’t need to be a psychiatrist to figure out why. Runaway inflation gnawed through household budgets as prices soared on everything from eggs to plane tickets. Higher interest rates made borrowing money more expensive, pushing home ownership out of reach for many.

A recession appears to be imminent: “2022, like the last couple of years, has put a strain on the American consumer’s finances,” said Rachel Gittleman, financial services outreach manager at Consumer Federation of America, a national network of consumer advocacy nonprofits.  In the early part of the pandemic, relief from the federal government helped keep many households afloat, she noted, but most of that money dried up this year. “Consumers are back to their pre-COVID finances, except now we’re facing record inflation and rising interest rates,” Gittleman said. Some saw 2022’s financial shakiness as an opportunity to refocus financial priorities. “One of the best results of the turmoil of 2022 is that it has been a wakeup call to Americans to pay more attention to their personal finances,” said Eric Amzalag, a fee-only financial planner in Canoga Park, Calif. That can mean creating tools like household budgets, expense worksheets or income trackers, and setting targeted savings goals, he said.  “Many of my clients have explained to me that the combination of inflation and negative market returns have been a one-two punch that has reminded them that they need to put resources and attention to their financial health.” But amid 2022’s economic turbulence, there were a few bright spots when it came to Americans’ wallets. Here’s a look at some of the money-related silver linings to this challenging time:1. Stocks were ‘on sale’ Markets were pummeled t …

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