personal finance

Survey says: 73% of parents are having trouble keeping up with current expenses.

New York Life | April 18, 2023

mother working at a desk with a baby on her lap

According to New York Life's latest Wealth Watch survey, almost 9 in 10 (89%) parents feel confident in their ability to financially provide for their children, despite ongoing economic pressures. Similarly, more than 8-in-10 (84%) parents feel confident their children will be financially secure, and 60% of parents say their children will be better off than they are in the future.

But what about inflation and rising costs? Amid an optimistic outlook, the survey found that 73% of parents are having trouble keeping up with current expenses. The top financial difficulties parents reported were paying bills in full (30%), paying bills on time (29%), and building savings (28%).

Parents in the Sandwich Generation (caring for children and aging relatives) are slightly less confident about their ability to provide financially for their aging relative (72%) in comparison to their children (86%).

“During periods of uncertainty, one of the best things to do is to take action where you can, helping to mitigate stress over things that are out of one’s control,” says Suzanne Schmitt, head of Financial Wellness at New York Life. “Working with a trusted financial professional can help provide peace of mind and keep you on track with your financial strategy.”

Parents are building financial resiliency:

  • Among parents who say their childcare and/or caregiving costs have increased, they are offsetting those increased costs by cutting back on other expenses (34%), working from home/hybrid model of work (23%), and having family members/friends help provide care (22%).
  •  59% of parents say their financial strategy has changed due to life events in the past year, compared to 41% of non-parents. Among those who have changed their financial strategy, parents are investing more (17%), saving more (38%), and building a cash reserve (15%).
  • Parents are also leveraging financial solutions on behalf of their children. In fact, 70% of parents report having opened financial products for their children with savings accounts (41%) and checking accounts (28%) being the most popular.

The bottom line: “The journey to building and maintaining financial wellness is not linear, as both expected and unexpected events can cause setbacks in a financial strategy, or change the strategy altogether,” says Schmitt. “Similarly, the path to defining and building a family looks different for everyone. Becoming a parent is a unique opportunity to ensure your financial strategy is aligned with this new chapter and that debt management, budgeting and savings strategies, and protection needs are up to date."

Go deeper: To learn more about how families are navigating their personal finances, view the full Wealth Watch report here.

Watch these videos highlighting key findings from the survey featuring Suzanne Schmitt, head of Financial Wellness at New York Life:

Suzanne details how families are using savings to build their financial security.

Suzanne highlights the importance of having a financial strategy for parents.


This poll was conducted between March 14-March 17, 2023, among a sample of 4,412 Adults. The interviews were conducted online. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 1 percentage points.


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Media contact

Sara Sefcovic
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-4499