This Year, People Are 4.7x More Likely To Focus On Building Their Finances, Big Data Study Reveals
Consumer mindsets on finances have shifted dramatically throughout the past few years, a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the job market and economy.
In 2020, financial uncertainty ran rampant throughout the United States with almost 200,000 small businesses closing as a result of the pandemic and larger corporations being forced to downsize, creating a newfound fear for business owners and lower-to-middle class consumers struggling financially. The cost of goods for items such as groceries and household necessities also spiked exponentially and only recently have begun to stabilize back to pre-pandemic prices.
While 2021 continued to yield a strong impact on the economy, consumers began to shift to a more strategic mindset with managing their finances. Building finances and looking for solutions to financial issues became more common compared to the year prior as consumers found a new trust in financial services to assist in protecting their funds and assisting with financial instability.
But what can we expect for 2022? How has the pandemic affected the financial mindsets of different segments, including a breakdown by gender, generation, ethnicity, and other factors that could impact attitudes towards finances as we move into the third year of the pandemic? CulturIntel set out to find some answers and potential trends to look forward to.
ABOUT THE STUDY
To better understand the mindsets that may impact financial management, the AI-powered market research tech CulturIntel harvested over 12.5 million digital conversations about financial mindsets in 2021 compared to 3.6 million conversations regarding the same topic in 2020.
Using its proprietary algorithm powered by artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and big data tools, CulturIntel mined all available open-source digital discussions available throughout both timeframes to structure and cluster patterns in public opinion and predict potential financial trends for 2022 across various segments. The methodology used to understand these mindsets arguably represents one of the most authentic sources of insight; not depending on a survey or poll.
Segments in this study include: Overall conversations, men, women, boomers, gen Xers, millennials, Hispanics, Black Americans, people living with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
WHAT ARE THE TOP MINDSETS TOWARDS FINANCES?
The analysis revealed that consumers reflected four core mindsets towards finances in 2020 and 2021 as they were either protection seekers, solution seekers, pragmatically focused, or wealth builders.
Compared to 2020, overall consumers in 2021 were 4.7x more likely to be wealth builders and 1.4x less likely to feel protective of their finances. This aligns with the previous insight that the economy began to stabilize throughout 2021 and allowed more room to begin rebuilding financial stability.
TOP INSIGHTS AND TRENDS
In fact, Black Americans were 14.5x more likely and women were 9x more likely than the overall segment to focus on building their finances in 2021 compared to the year prior. This indicates an increase in the wealth builder mindset continuing into 2022 with less of a focus on protecting finances, allowing for more financial freedom across different segments.
Another key insight uncovered by the study is the role of being a solution-seeker and pragmatically focused. Almost a quarter of conversations among Hispanic consumers revolved around being a solution-seeker and finding support through financial services to solve financial problems. This is a similar trend to people living with disabilities, as they are 1.6x more likely to look for financial solutions compared to the year prior. In 2022, Hispanics and people living with disabilities are looking to become confident in their financial stability.
GEN X’ERS AND MILLENIALS
On the other hand, Gen X’ers and Millennials were the most polarized when it came to being pragmatically-focused, or prioritizing simplicity in their daily transactions.
While 25% of Gen X mindsets prioritized being pragmatically-focused, Millennials were 1.9x less likely to be focused on the pragmatics of their finances in 2021 (vs. 2020) — indicating that Millennials will be focused on factors beyond convenience throughout 2022.
HOW TO TURN INSIGHTS INTO ACTION
Staying on top of data trends allows businesses to not only better understand multiple consumer segments, but also to create more meaningful relationships and target various segments with a meaningful campaign that allows them to feel seen and heard based on their mindsets and attitudes towards finances as a result of the pandemic’s economic impact.
Want to learn more about what Big Data uncovered on financial mindsets of 2020 vs. 2021 and insights to spot key trends throughout 2022? Download the full one-pager report.