Survey: 69.3% of Americans think paying bills on time shows someone is ‘well-off’

“36% of people who think they’re well-off agreed that ‘money does buy happiness,’ while 65% agreed that you can still be a member of this category if you have student loans to pay off.”

Data from Comet shows that 69.3% of Americans surveyed think that if someone pays “their bills on time,” they are considered “well-off.”

Overall, respondents said having an average of $4,177 in their checking accounts and an average of $57,404 in their savings accounts would also land them in this category. But among people who think of themselves in this way, the results varied by generation. Also, taking a larger-scale look at things, 39.1% of people who weighed in think they’re “well-off.”

In terms of how the research was carried out, Comet polled 1,006 Americans between the ages of 18 and 80 via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, “weighted the data to the 2017 U.S. census for age,” and noted that “all of the results rely on self-reported data.”

Here’s what it takes to be seen as “well-off”

Check out the Top 10 responses:

1) “They pay their bills on time:” 69.3%

2) “They can afford experiences (travel, concerts, etc.):” 67.8%

3) “They are debt-free:” 67.1%

4) “They established a retirement fund:” 65.4%

5) “They’re a homeowner:” 64.8%

6) “They established an emergency fund:” 61.4%

7) “They have sufficient money for food or essentials:” 60.8%

8) “They maintain a stable job:” 60.3%

9) “They have an investment portfolio:” 59.5%

10) “They have a high credit score:” 58.8%

The least popular choice (#21) was “they enjoy the topic of money” at 16.6%.

Here’s how various generations feel

The infographic approaches this topic from a variety of angles:

But among people who aren’t “well-off,” 43.5% said they’d rather have “more time with friends and family,” and 56.5% would rather have a large amount of money. Among people who are “well-off,” 59.8% said they’d rather have “more time with friends and family,” and 40.2% would rather “have more money.”

Furthermore, 36% of people who think they’re “well-off” agreed that “money does buy happiness,” while 65% agreed that you can still be a member of this category if you have student loans to pay off.

“It was great to see that the millennials are planning for their future ($54K in savings) and are on track to be better off than previous generations. This is counter-intuitive from what we hear in the media about this generation,” Comet told Ladders.

Here’s what Americans recommend

People who think of themselves as “well-off” shared their thoughts on getting to this point:

 

Jane Burnett|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at jburnett@theladders.com.