Huntington Bank, which has headquarters in Detroit and Columbus since announcing a merger with Detroit’s TCF National Bank in December 2020, has found that finances are the No. 1 driver of stress for Midwesterners during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the company’s “Money Mindset” survey, conducted from Nov. 25, 2020-Jan. 14, 2021.
Of those surveyed, 47 percent selected money/finances as the main reason for creating stress in their lives, while 40 percent cited the pandemic and 37 percent cited health. Additionally, 46 percent reported living paycheck to paycheck, up from 40 percent in the previous Money Mindset survey, released in December 2019.
Another shift from the last survey showed that 51 percent of participants had funds set aside for emergencies, down from 64 percent.
“Stress related to money and finances is a clear reflection of the challenges many people are having during these difficult times,” says Andy Harmening, president of consumer and business banking at Huntington. “Personal finances are often about planning, and we want to do everything we can to help people better understand where their money is going in an effort to look out for them.”
Other key findings include:
- 36 percent of respondents reported choosing between paying a medical bill or some other cost such as utilities or groceries in the past two years. This is up from 27 percent in 2019.
- 40 percent or more 18-55-year-olds reported choosing between paying a medical bill and some other cost. Meanwhile, 20 percent of respondents 56 and older had to make this choice.
Age and Financial Resources
- 16 percent of those ages 18-23 and 13 percent of those ages 24-39 reported needing to borrow money for rent.
- 12 percent of respondents ages 18-39 reported needing to borrow for everyday expenses.
- In older age groups, response rates in these categories were significantly smaller.
Concerns about retirement
- 58 percent of respondents indicated they were worried about not saving enough for retirement, up from 55 percent in 2019.
- The most concerned age group is 40-55-year-olds with 69 percent expressing concern over retirement savings.
The independent research firm OnePoll completed the online survey, which included 2,103 respondents aged 18 and older and residing in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
Harmening suggested getting a complete picture of finances, tracking spending behaviors, using incremental savings, avoiding overdrafts and overdraft fees, automating bill payments, making a plan to deal with debt, and sticking with goals to better personal financial standing.
In January 2019, TCF announced it would merge with Chemical Bank and continued work on its combined headquarters, which are being built in downtown Detroit. The companies completed their integration in August 2020, retiring the Chemical Bank brand. TCF announced it would merge into Huntington late last year.
Huntington has $123 billion of assets and a network of 839 branches. It was founded in 1866.