Changing economic conditions are making it more difficult for people to afford household expenses. Our team of analysts found that the number of people who said they were having a “very difficult” time paying for their usual household expenses has increased by 50% since June.

Key findings:

  • 42% of people say they are having “slight to moderate” difficulty meeting household expenses.
  • 12% of people say they are having a “very difficult” time paying household expenses.
  • The number of people having a “very difficult” time has increased by 50% nationwide and by as much as 225% in some states.
  • Mississippi, Nevada and Louisiana have the highest numbers of people having a “very difficult” time.

Inflation is the main reason why people are having a harder time meeting expenses. Overall inflation is up 6.2% since last year, but prices for food and fuel have gone up even more. The rise in prices has hit certain states particularly hard.

We looked at the number of people in each state who said they were having either “no difficulty,” “slight to moderate difficulty” or a “very difficult” time meeting their usual household expenses. Minnesota and North Dakota were the only states that said money matters were getting easier. In the other 48 states, the number of people who said things were “very difficult” increased by as much as 225%.

Change in difficulty meeting household expenses
State % having a very difficult time (June) % having a very difficult time (Oct) % change since June
Alabama 11% 14% 22%
Alaska 11% 14% 27%
Arizona 8% 13% 72%
Arkansas 5% 17% 225%
California 9% 12% 34%
Colorado 7% 10% 29%
Connecticut 8% 10% 30%
Delaware 10% 11% 9%
Florida 8% 14% 77%
Georgia 11% 18% 61%
Hawaii 9% 10% 16%
Idaho 5% 7% 54%
Illinois 8% 12% 42%
Indiana 5% 12% 122%
Iowa 7% 11% 61%
Kansas 7% 10% 40%
Kentucky 9% 14% 48%
Louisiana 10% 16% 66%
Maine 6% 8% 25%
Maryland 8% 11% 36%
Massachusetts 9% 11% 30%
Michigan 8% 13% 54%
Minnesota 8% 5% -36%
Mississippi 11% 13% 17%
Missouri 6% 10% 77%
Montana 5% 8% 47%
Nebraska 7% 9% 39%
Nevada 9% 13% 44%
New Hampshire 5% 10% 86%
New Jersey 9% 11% 24%
New Mexico 9% 11% 26%
New York 9% 11% 23%
North Carolina 9% 15% 73%
North Dakota 7% 7% -1%
Ohio 6% 11% 76%
Oklahoma 9% 20% 119%
Oregon 5% 11% 101%
Pennsylvania 7% 10% 35%
Rhode Island 14% 18% 30%
South Carolina 6% 14% 155%
South Dakota 7% 10% 43%
Tennessee 7% 15% 123%
Texas 10% 15% 48%
Utah 5% 11% 107%
Vermont 6% 6% 3%
Virginia 6% 10% 79%
Washington 4% 8% 88%
West Virginia 8% 14% 82%
Wisconsin 5% 9% 70%
Wyoming 5% 10% 91%
United States 8% 12% 50%

We also found significant changes in the number of people who reported having “no difficulty” or “slight to moderate difficulty.” Nationwide, there was a 4% decrease in people who reported having “no difficulty” and an 8% increase in people who had “slight to moderate difficulty.”

The table below shows the percentage of people in each state experiencing various levels of difficulty meeting their household expenses. Oklahoma had the highest number of people having a “very difficult” time, Minnesota had the most people with “no difficulty” and Idaho had the highest percentage of people experiencing “slight to moderate difficulty” meeting their usual expenses.

Difficulty meeting household expenses by state
State % with no difficulty % with slight to moderate difficulty % having a very difficult time
Alabama 46% 40% 14%
Alaska 45% 41% 14%
Arizona 47% 41% 13%
Arkansas 42% 40% 17%
California 46% 41% 12%
Colorado 52% 42% 10%
Connecticut 46% 38% 10%
Delaware 52% 44% 11%
Florida 45% 38% 14%
Georgia 43% 42% 18%
Hawaii 41% 39% 10%
Idaho 55% 48% 7%
Illinois 50% 37% 12%
Indiana 51% 38% 12%
Iowa 55% 37% 11%
Kansas 56% 35% 10%
Kentucky 43% 34% 14%
Louisiana 42% 43% 16%
Maine 54% 41% 8%
Maryland 44% 38% 11%
Massachusetts 50% 45% 11%
Michigan 50% 39% 13%
Minnesota 65% 37% 5%
Mississippi 41% 30% 13%
Missouri 47% 47% 10%
Montana 54% 43% 8%
Nebraska 57% 39% 9%
Nevada 42% 33% 13%
New Hampshire 54% 44% 10%
New Jersey 46% 36% 11%
New Mexico 44% 43% 11%
New York 46% 46% 11%
North Carolina 48% 43% 15%
North Dakota 55% 37% 7%
Ohio 51% 38% 11%
Oklahoma 41% 38% 20%
Oregon 53% 40% 11%
Pennsylvania 48% 36% 10%
Rhode Island 46% 42% 18%
South Carolina 50% 36% 14%
South Dakota 62% 36% 10%
Tennessee 43% 28% 15%
Texas 43% 42% 15%
Utah 53% 43% 11%
Vermont 56% 36% 6%
Virginia 52% 38% 10%
Washington 56% 38% 8%
West Virginia 46% 36% 14%
Wisconsin 59% 41% 9%
Wyoming 48% 32% 10%
United States 48% 42% 12%
*Percentages are rounded so many not add up to 100%

The data presented above shows just how quickly a change in prices can impact people’s financial situation. Inflation is currently at a 30-year high, and we predict that people’s financial situations will continue to drastically change the higher it goes.

Methodology:

We analyzed state-by-state data from the Household Pulse Survey data on the percentage of individuals who had a “very difficult” time meeting usual household expenses over the seven-day moving average dates of June 3, 2021, compared to Oct. 22, 2021. Also included in the second table are the absolute percentages of people with “no difficulty” and “slight to moderate difficulty” in meeting the usual monthly expenses.