This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

America's Top Money Worries And Regrets

It's 3 a.m. and you are awake thinking about money. What exactly are you thinking about?

Are you regretting the past, worrying about tomorrow or planning a better future? The answer may depend on whether you are a man or a woman, and especially on what choices you've made in the past.

On behalf of, survey company Op4G asked 1,500 adult Americans in July 2013 about some of their biggest money concerns of the past, present and future. The answers provide insights into the different ways people today think -- and worry -- about money.

Popular money worries, regrets and wishes

Focusing first on the present, when asked about their biggest current financial worry, the most common answers were split pretty evenly between trying to maintain a comfortable lifestyle and just trying to meet essential expenses. Each of those responses garnered about 31 percent of the total. In contrast, less than 18 percent were focused on saving for the future. It seems that while some Americans are able to live more comfortably than others, what most have in common is that they are more focused on today than on the years ahead.

It's interesting that such a relatively small percentage is focused on saving, because when the survey asked what people's biggest financial regret was, by far the most common response was not saving enough. Forty percent of respondents gave this answer, which was roughly twice as many as those citing the next most common regret, accumulating too much debt. It seems that people find it easier to look back and realize they should have saved more than to look ahead and recognize the importance of building a healthy savings account for the future.

People are pretty practical about what they would do if a financial windfall came their way. When asked what they would do if they received $10,000, nearly 39 percent said they would use it to pay down debt, and 38 percent said they would put it into savings. In contrast, 11 percent said they would use it to buy things for themselves or a loved one, and just less than 10 percent said they would give some or all of it to charity.

Absent such a windfall, what would people like to change most about their financial behavior? The most common response, at about 40 percent, was to reduce spending and increase savings. Nineteen percent said they would like to make wiser investment decisions, and 16 percent wished they could make wiser purchasing decisions. Only 10 percent felt they needed to spend more freely and enjoy their money more.

Where men and women differ about money

When broken down between men and women, most of the response totals were fairly similar, but there were some significant differences. For example, women seem to feel they are having a little tougher time just getting by: While the most common response among men was that their immediate concern was maintaining a comfortable lifestyle, women most often said they were concerned with just meeting essential expenses.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community


DOW 18,232.02 -53.72 -0.29%
S&P 500 2,126.06 -4.76 -0.22%
NASDAQ 5,089.3620 -1.4320 -0.03%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs