The Average U.S. Consumer Worries About Money Six Times a Day, According to Affirm Consumer Spend Report

January 6, 2022

About 1 in 4 (24%) of respondents say late fees is their biggest financial setback; 1 in 2 consumers (50%) want to use a pay-over-time option in 2022

SAN FRANCISCO – January 6, 2022 – Overspending is a top source of anxiety across all generations, according to findings from the latest Affirm Consumer Spending Report, Affirm’s look at what consumers are up to and where they’re headed next. The survey revealed the average U.S. consumer worries about money six times a day and over half (56%) say they often overextend their spending and are left in a difficult position.

Living through the pandemic is believed by many (61%) to have made younger generations more financially savvy. What’s more, survey respondents think that Millennials and Gen Z (53%) are generally better at managing their finances than Gen X and Baby Boomers (33%). Additionally, Millennials feel more confident about their finances than any other age group, and are also the most optimistic about where their finances will be ten years from now. However, it is worth noting that while Millennials are the most confident in their finances, they worry about money more than any other generation — an average of 7 times per day. 

The survey also revealed that almost half (42%) of Gen Z started saving or plan to start saving by the time they hit 25 years old, compared to 28% of Millennials, 24% of Gen Z, and 17% of Baby Boomers. 

As consumers seek new ways to manage their budgets, they’re increasingly choosing transparent payment alternatives that allow them to pay at their own pace. The study found that more than 1 in 2 (56%) U.S. consumers are interested in using a pay-over-time solution, such as Affirm, in 2022. Nearly half (49%) of consumers (and 68% of Millennials, specifically) won’t complete a purchase if a retailer does not offer a pay-over-time option at checkout.

“With 40% of Millennials agreeing credit card debt is their biggest financial setback, it’s no surprise that we are seeing this group embrace more modern, flexible payment options like Affirm. Nearly three-fourths of Millennials plan to use a buy now, pay-over-time solution in 2022, and would rather use one than a credit card,” said Silvija Martincevic, Chief Commercial Officer at Affirm. “Affirm gives consumers the flexibility to pay at their own pace, without the risk of hidden penalties or fees.”

Additional Key Findings Include:

  • When asked which area of their lives they feel the most confident about, 79% of Millennials say they’re most confident in their finances – compared to 57% Gen Z, 71% Gen X and 65% Baby Boomers 

  • More than a third of Millennials (39%) and Gen Z (35%) say that not being taught how to budget is one of their biggest setbacks to achieving financial freedom

  • Over three-quarters (78%) of Millennials are optimistic about where their finances will be ten years from now, vs. 64% of Gen Zers, 73% of Gen Xers and 57% of Boomers

  • Consumers are prioritizing financial stability compared to other areas of life: nearly half would give up drinking alcohol for five years to retire today while almost 1 in 3 would give up sex (30%) or their friends (29%)

  • When looking for a romantic partner, U.S. consumers agree one’s ability to manage their finances (45%) is more important than their physical appearance (39%); The vast majority (78%) of Millennials would break up with a romantic partner if they handled their money poorly

Affirm gives eligible consumers the flexibility to buy the things they want and need while spreading out the cost into monthly or bi-weekly payments, with no late or hidden fees. With Affirm, you’ll never owe more than you agree to upfront. Instead, you’ll always get a flexible, transparent, and convenient way to pay at your own pace. Shoppers can explore more than 102,000 Affirm merchants, including:  

  • Apparel: Neiman Marcus, Target, Rag & Bone 

  • Home: West Elm, Design Within Reach, Article, Pottery Barn

  • Electronics: Dyson, Therabody, Samsung

  • Travel & Experiences: StubHub, Vrbo, American Airlines, Expedia

About the Survey

The online survey was conducted by OnePoll for Affirm in November 2021, with a panel of 2,000 general population U.S. consumers split evenly by generation.

About Affirm

Affirm’s mission is to deliver honest financial products that improve lives. By building a new kind of payment network — one based on trust, transparency and putting people first — we empower millions of consumers to spend and save responsibly, and give thousands of businesses the tools to fuel growth. Unlike credit cards and other pay-over-time options, we show consumers exactly what they will pay up front, never increase that amount, and never charge any late or hidden fees. Follow Affirm on social media: LinkedIn | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter.

Payment options through Affirm are subject to an eligibility check, may not be available in all states, and are provided by these lending partners: CA residents: Loans by Affirm Loan Services, LLC are made or arranged pursuant to a California Finance Lender license.

Press Contact