Millions of Americans are having difficulty making ends meet, according to a new NBC News/Marist poll.
At the same time, though, "optimism about their personal finances in the coming year is the highest it has been in five years," said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion.
The survey found that 37 percent saw the state of the their 20 percent.
The 17 percent represents about 41 million Americans. On the other hand, 63 percent said their financial situation is strong or somewhat strong.
The poll also found "There are demographic differences. Not surprisingly, 30 percent of adults who earn less than $50,000 annually describe their finances as weak while only 5 percent of those who earn more say the same.
"Americans 45 to 59 years old, who may still be supporting their children while at the same time caring for parents, are more likely than other age groups to say their money situation is faltering. One in five members of this generation — 20 percent — says their household finances are weak."
The survey also found 9 percent found they're overwhelmed by debt--about 22 million people. Another 35 percent said they could manage the debt, while 55 percent saw their debt as under control.
"Again, income is key," the survey found. "Americans who earn less than $50,000 a year are four times more likely than those who make more to be overwhelmed by their level of debt. 16 percent of those with an annual salary less than $50,000 experience significant financial stress compared with only 4 percent who earn more."