How to Achieve Financial Mobility and Move Up the Wealth Spectrum
When reflecting on your journey over the past year and throughout the pandemic, has your thinking around financial priorities changed? If so, you’re not alone—nearly half (46%) of Americans say the pandemic has altered their financial priorities, according to The KeyBank 2022 Financial Mobility Survey. This shift not only demonstrates the enormous impact the pandemic had on our lives, but also showcases the way in which our personal and financial lives go hand in hand.
Read on to better understand some of the changes Americans have been making, as well as tips for overcoming obstacles to achieve financial mobility and move up the wealth spectrum.
Top Changes in Personal and Financial Priorities
Some of the most prevalent shifts that we have seen in Americans’ financial behavior revolve around work-life balance and mental well-being— and yet, this shift has not come at the expense of financial wellbeing. Financial mobility—or the ability for one to move up the wealth spectrum—continues to be a priority for Americans as they restructure how they want to live their lives.
We’ve learned that standard of living should not come at the expense of personal and mental wellness, and this collective mindset shift has prompted the following changes, as highlighted in The KeyBank 2022 Financial Mobility Survey:
- Emphasizing Work-Life Balance: Americans are choosing to spend more time with friends and family, and many have even adjusted their career paths to make room for this. Two in ten Americans (22%) have made a career shift since COVID-19. Whether for more flexibility or a better career opportunity, it’s clear the pandemic promoted many to re-evaluate their financial pictures and make the moves necessary to reach their goals.
- Improving Financial Awareness: The pandemic and lockdowns gave people more time at home, prompting many to educate themselves and become more financially savvy. About half (53%) of Americans have become more financially aware due to the challenges faced in 2021, and (48%) would say that financial information makes them feel resilient. This improved awareness not only enables mobility, but it also makes them more resilient in the event of any future downturns.
- Putting Mental Health First: More and more Americans are relying on activities that benefit their mental health in an effort to stay financially resilient. Over the past few years, Americans have come to understand the importance of a mind-body connection when it comes to financial decision making—which is exactly why many report factors like a good night’s sleep, proper diet and excise, and daily mindfulness activities are essential to staying on their financial course.
- Adopting Digital Banking Tools: Lockdowns early in the pandemic limited Americans’ access to physical bank branches, which prompted many to turn to digital tools for their everyday financial needs—and many aren’t looking back. Nearly one in four Americans (23%) say they have more experience with digital tools in 2021 than they did in 2020. This shows a continued adoption of these tools that provide Americans with greater access to their financials.
Four Tips for Financial Mobility
Can you relate to these changes that are taking place? If so, here are some ways for you to refocus your personal priorities, while keeping your financial goals in mind.
- Build a budget that fits your financial situation. Do your best to identify "wants" and "needs" before making a purchase, and keep track of your inflows and outflows to determine how much to save, and how much you can afford to spend. To help, our EasyUp tool automatically transfers $1 from your checking and into your savings account with each purchase that you make.
- Consult a trusted advisor (a spouse, significant other, family member, or friend) or a financial professional at your local bank who can help you assess your financial situation and combat any financial faux pas you may have made. Setting up a Financial Wellness Review at your local KeyBank branch can help get you started.
- Research which digital banking tools will help you along your financial journey. For more complex banking needs, seek the help of a professional powered by technology who can help you develop the best plan and further your understanding of complicated financial topics.
- Build and maintain your credit. If you are just getting started on your financial journey (and even if you are further along), having access to, building and maintaining credit is essential to staying financially fit. Products like the Secured Credit Card and Hassle-Free Checking can help develop good financial habits and an educational foundation for future prosperity.