Why financial well-being?
At the CFPB, we work to help consumers like you take control of your financial life to reach your own life goals, achieve financial peace of mind, and avoid pitfalls that can derail you.
The ultimate goal of our work is to help you improve your financial well-being. Financial well-being means how much your financial situation and money choices provide you with security and freedom of choice.
We developed a questionnaire and a scoring method as a tool that can help you take stock of your financial well-being.
Maybe you’re planning to take action to improve your financial life—on your own or with help from others, maybe through a friend, coach, book, or financial services professional. One of the key questions you might ask yourself afterward is, “Am I better off than before?”
To answer that question, you can use our financial well-being questionnaire and your resulting score. Together, they let you accurately and consistently measure your financial well-being before and after taking steps to improve your financial situation.
Why doesn’t this questionnaire ask about financial details?
Because each person’s situation is unique and subjective, it is hard to describe financial well-being using only numbers like income, net worth, or credit score.
Instead, we asked people around the country what financial well-being meant to them, and we listened.
We learned that financial well-being means having financial security and financial freedom of choice, in the present and in the future. More specifically, having financial well-being is when you:
- Have control over day-to-day, month-to-month finances
- Have the capacity to absorb a financial shock
- Are on track to meet your financial goals
- Have the financial freedom to make the choices that allow you to enjoy life
That’s why people with the same income, financial experiences, or education can have very different levels of financial well-being.
How does financial well-being look across America?
The tool allows you to compare your financial well-being score to other adults in the United States. The comparison of your score to others’ scores is made possible by our national survey. In late 2016, we collected responses to our financial well-being scale in a nationwide survey of U.S. adults for the first time.