So much has happened in the year since we published the results of the first Ellevest Financial Wellness Survey last October. Inflation has hit us all hard. Markets have been all over the place. At long last, student debt is being forgiven (some of it, anyway). And employment, while looking better on the surface, remains a major issue for women.
So we wanted to know whether and how women’s attitudes and approaches toward financial wellness have changed, too — especially given the moment it’s having in our culture more broadly. In addition to expanding our query with the first-ever comprehensive measure of women’s financial health in the US (read all about the brand-new Ellevest Women’s Financial Health Index here), we also brought back The Ellevest Financial Wellness Survey, speaking to nearly 2,500 adults nationwide about how they think about money — and what they do with it — in 2022. What we learned gave us hope, but it also showed us how far we still have to go in achieving true financial gender equality. Let’s dive into it.
The big news: Women are prioritizing financial wellness in 2022
Last year, financial wellness wasn’t too high on people’s list of priorities. Most women who took our survey back then ranked it as the least important form of wellness — less important than physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness. (Just 14% said it was important.) Call it an awakening, but this year, they’re singing a different tune: In that same ranking, women are now three times as likely to see financial wellness as critical — now it’s second only to mental wellness:
Mental wellness: 48% (vs 36% in 2021)
Financial wellness 42% (vs 14% in 2021)
Physical wellness 37% (vs 22% in 2021)
Spiritual wellness 22% (vs 18% in 2021)
They’re walking the walk, too, making moves to practice financial wellness regularly. Two-thirds of women say they’ve cut back on spending, for example. (Spending itself isn’t necessarily a problem, mind you; but
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