FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
While Washington touts the recovery, fewer Americans are feeling "better" about their own financial situation these days.
A new Gallup poll shows 50% of those surveyed say they feel better about their personal finances. But that's down 4 points from April... and so far the drop is holding in the month of June.
The poll also shows that several other important measures of personal financial well-being are holding steady...including:
- 34% of Americans say they have more than enough money to do what they want.
- 77% say they have enough money to buy the things they need.
- and 21% say they worry they spent too much money yesterday.
These numbers have remained virtually unchanged in the past couple months.
But, the fact that more people say they're feeling worse about their personal financial situation could spell trouble.
For one thing, it's a turnaround from April when consumers were feeling better about their own pocketbooks.
There are several possible reasons for this decline, including the stock market having its worst month in 40 years in May.
Also, there's the ongoing and worsening financial crisis in Europe as well as the deteriorating conditions resulting from the Gulf coast oil spill. And the May jobs report was disappointing, showing an artificially high number of new jobs because of the hiring of temporary workers for the census.
Whatever the reason, if people are worried about their finances they're less likely to spend money – and without consumer spending, our economy has lost its motor.
Roughly two-thirds of the American economy is driven by consumer spending.
Here’s my question to you: Do you feel better or worse about your financial situation?
Interested to see which ones made it on air?
J.J. in Lincoln, Nebraska
I'm single woman, 43, earning less than $30K and definitely feel worse off since my wages are frozen and the prices ARE NOT!
Tunde in Maplewood, New Jersey
I actually feel better. All of this negativity and doom in the reporting about the economy have forced me to change my spending habits. Result? I'm spending less, shopping smarter, and my finances look dandy.
I feel worse. When the statistics come out about unemployment, I'm not counted because I am self-employed. I also don't qualify for unemployment since I am self-employed. I have my own carpentry business and I feel like a second class citizen even though I have to pay more in taxes than someone who works for someone else.
Tom in California
Better. We have a small business, and we were in serious trouble in 2008 and 2009, but we've turned the corner. Not on easy street yet, but things are looking a whole lot better. Activity and revenue are up 40% year to year.
Silas in Boston
Far worse, Jack. There's no money to create jobs. No money to upgrade our infrastructure … We're on the fast track to poverty and further division, Jack. We've no manufacturing base, our farmers are virtual sharecroppers to the agriculture industry and our politicians are beholden to special interests as opposed to the taxpayer.
Better. I had a few interviews lately and one offer so far. After months and months of no or little activity, things appear to be picking up.
Delia in Katy, Texas
Jack, I feel worse! 50 and unemployed doesn't bode well in this economy.
Bob in Tampa, Florida
Much better, Jack. Business is good and I am even afforded the time to waste, watching the Situation Room.