With National Financial Awareness Day on August 14th, there are more reasons than ever to be aware of what's going on with your finances. When was the last time you really looked at your overall financial situation? If you're like many Americans, the answer to this question may have been a long time (or even never!). While there is a positive correlation between your close look at your finances and your financial health, there are still many people who avoid looking at their finances.
Turbos # RealMoneyTalk study
In February 2019, Turbo commissioned a survey this was done online by The Harris Poll. The aim of the study was to better understand American attitudes and behaviors when discussing their personal finances and money-related issues with others. The study also categorized responses across generations, with a special focus on Generation Z (ages 18-23). In this article, we're going to look at some of the findings from this study, focusing on why people talk about their finances and not.
How many people don't talk to anyone about their finances
The Turbo # RealMoneyTalk survey found that more than half (51%) of respondents do not talk to friends or family about their finances. 43% of respondents said that they did not feel comfortable talking to their friends about money or financial situation, while 27% did not feel comfortable talking to family about their finances.
How pleasantly you talk about money depends on your age
The study also shows that the comfort one has when talking about money certainly depends on your age. For many of the questions in the study, respondents were categorized into one of four different age groups – Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Boomers. There was a clear pattern based on what age group you were in, with younger respondents being more comfortable talking about money.
Gen Z (71%) are more likely than Gen X (61%) or Boomers (48%) to say they enjoy talking to friends about money. Gen Z (67%) are most likely to talk about their financial situation with their families compared to Millennials (52%), Gen X (39%) and Boomers (31%). Interestingly, the opposite trend is true for respondents' convenience of talking to a partner about money matters. This is where Gen Z (31%) felt AT LEAST comfortable (compared to Millennials (43%), Gen X (48%) and Boomers (51%). Perhaps older respondents are on average more likely to be in longer-lasting relationships where they exist a level of trust.
Most people didn't talk about money when they were growing up
While the taboo on talking about finance can have many different causes, one could be the environment in which people grew up. The #RealMoneyTalk poll asked how many times your household was talking about finances when you were growing up. Almost half of the respondents (47%) said that money was rarely (32%) or never (15%) discussed. Only 22% of respondents said that money was always or often talked about when they were young.
Again, there are significant generational differences in the answers to these questions, with younger respondents being more likely to have talked about money issues. Gen Z (74%) and Millennials (67%) are more likely than Gen X (54%) or Boomers (38%) to say that the finances in their household were at least sometimes discussed when they were growing up. The data certainly shows that there is more and more talk of money issues these days.
Talking about debt is a different matter
While many respondents felt comfortable discussing general money matters, there was a marked decrease in the number of respondents comfortable talking about their debts. 29% of respondents say they feel embarrassed talking about how much debt they owe, and nearly one in five Americans (19%) says they lied about how much debt they owe when they were with friends are together.
Again, the answers vary not only by age, but also by gender. Women (33%) are slightly more likely than men (25%) to say that they are embarrassed to talk about how much debt they owe. Boomers (19%) are the least likely to say they are embarrassed to talk about how much debt they owe, compared to Gen X (33%), Millennials (39%), and Gen Z (35%).
Why Should You Talk About Your Finances?
Pearson's Law states, “When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates. “The same goes for your overall financial well-being. It is very unlikely that you can improve your financial situation without even knowing what it is! A great way to understand your finances could be as simple as start a budget.
Discussing your finances with a trusted friend or family member can make your situation even better. Of course, you want to be smart about what information you want to share (and with whom!), But the ability to measure and report progress can be a great motivator to position yourself exactly where you want to be
Dan Miller (22 posts)
Dan Miller is a freelance writer and founder of PointsWithACrew.com, a website that helps families travel for free / cheap. His home base is in Cincinnati, but he tries to travel the world as much as possible with his wife and 6 children.