68% of women lack confidence in the economy, Achieve survey finds

A new survey by Achieve reveals women are more pessimistic than men about debt and finances and more apt to say they’re unprepared to endure a financial hardship.

February 29, 2024

SAN MATEO, Calif., February 29, 2024 — While women have made strides toward financial equity, they still shoulder significant debt stress and are frequently concerned about the impact that the broader economy has on their financial stability. In addition, women are more likely than men to say they’re unprepared for financial challenges that might come down the pike in the year ahead, according to the results of a new survey by Achieve, the leader in digital personal finance.

The survey, conducted by the Achieve Center for Consumer Insights, asked both women and men about their current financial situations, key pain points and future goals. It found that 68% of women are either “not very” or “not at all” confident in their outlook for the economy in 2024, compared to 57% of men. Women were also more likely to think a recession is a possibility in 2024, with 34% predicting a recession, compared to just 28% of men.

“We know that there continues to be economic inequities between the genders and this has long-term implications for financial planning and well-being,” said Brad Stroh, co-Founder and co-CEO of Achieve. “The pessimism about the broader economic stability viewed by many women surveyed are largely driven by stress from ongoing inflation, thoughts of job insecurity and ability to save or pay down debt.”

Layoff preparation: Are women ready?

Approximately 75% of both men and women believe inflation is one of the biggest risks facing the economy this year, while 55% of women and 61% of men also said political uncertainty is another risk. Conversely, 34% of women and 28% of men said unemployment is a risk facing the economy. When pressed further on employment issues, only 6% of both women and men believe their jobs are more secure in 2024 compared to last year, while 25% of women and 22% of men believe their jobs are less secure this year.

An overwhelming majority of women (84%) and men (81%) reported no plans to leave their current jobs in the next year and both genders — 73% of men and 80% of women — did not feel that their current company is at risk for layoffs. However, 66% of women said they are not financially prepared to get laid off, compared to 54% of men. Across generations, female Baby Boomers are most likely to say they are financially prepared for a layoff, while Millennials are least likely to be prepared.


Building a nest egg: Money in savings and checking is at a minimum

The ability to put extra funds aside in checking, savings or an emergency fund can be critical when people face financial hardship. The survey found that women were more likely than men to have little-to-no funds in their checking accounts and were less likely to have $5,000 or more in their bank accounts.


Emergency savings rang an alarm bell for many surveyed, with 45% of women reporting zero emergency savings, compared to 32% of men. When looking at primary checking, 21% of women overdrafted their primary checking account or had less than $25 available in their account in the last 30 days compared to only 13% of men.

Despite these challenges, many women reported optimism on the horizon. When asked about future plans, women had lofty goals for the year ahead with 19% focused on increasing their savings, 25% looking to increase earnings and 24% focused on paying down debt.


The data and findings presented are based on an Achieve survey conducted in January 2024 consisting of 1,000 U.S. consumers ages 18 and older, and is representative of Census Bureau benchmarks of the U.S. population for age, gender, race and ethnicity.

About the Achieve Center for Consumer Insights

The Achieve Center for Consumer Insights is a think tank that leverages Achieve’s team of digital personal finance experts to provide a view into the state of consumer finances. In addition to sharing insights gleaned from Achieve’s proprietary data and analytics, the Achieve Center for Consumer Insights publishes in-depth research, bespoke data and thoughtful commentary in support of Achieve’s mission of helping everyday people get on the path to a better financial future.

About Achieve

Achieve, THE digital personal finance company, helps everyday people get on, and stay on, the path to a better financial future. Achieve pairs proprietary data and analytics with personalized support to offer personal loans, home equity loans and debt resolution, along with financial tips and education and a free mobile app, Achieve MoLO (Money Left Over). Achieve has 2,500 dedicated teammates across the country with hubs in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas. Achieve is frequently recognized as a Best Place to Work.

Achieve refers to the global organization and may denote one or more affiliates of Achieve Company, including Achieve.com (NMLS ID #138464); Achieve Home Loans, Equal Housing Lender (NMLS ID #1810501); Achieve Personal Loans (NMLS ID #227977); Achieve Resolution (NMLS ID # 1248929) and Freedom Financial Asset Management (CRD #170229).

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