Break out the bubbly, America - more and more of you seem happier about your personal financial status, a new study states.
According to the AICPA, Americans "are experiencing their highest levels of personal financial satisfaction since the fourth quarter of 2006,", the New York City-based group states in its most recent Personal Financial Satisfaction Index.
The calculus driving the index is an intriguing one. The AICPA takes what it calls the Personal Financial Pain Index, and subtracts it from the group's Personal Financial Pleasure Index, to calculate, in broad terms, the actual Financial Satisfaction Index.
This quarter, that formula measured 24.1, a 7.6 point increase from the first quarter of 2017. The increase, the AICPA reports, was due to "a slight uptick" in the Personal Financial Pleasure index (1.4 points) and a "substantial" 6.2 point decrease in the Personal Financial Pain index.
That's good news, but study analysts warn against too much celebrating.
"In conversations with our clients, we've been telling them to be aware of the long-term trend," says David Stolz, CPA/PFS and member of the AICPA PFS Credential Committee. "People naturally overweight the current situation and forget that it is part of a cycle. Americans shouldn't let their present situation allow them to drift from their plan of reducing debt and adding to their savings. It's always wise to save some acorns in the summer, because we know eventually winter is coming."
For now, though, the good times seem to be rolling at an accelerated speed.