Halloween is nearly upon us, and in keeping with that theme, SunTrust Bank asked people what character best describes their financial state of mind.
Just over a quarter (27%) went with bat saying that they would rather take a nap or sleep than spend time thinking about their finances. Another 27% went with pirate. Why? Because they would be flush with treasure and cash.
What other characters placed in the National Financial Confidence Poll? Besides bat and pirate, some went with ghost (19%) because unexpected expenses kept on making their savings go down.
Then there are those who chose vampire (19%) because when they sit down to pay bills they feel like the life is being sucked out of them. Last but not least, 8.5% said skeleton since their spending habits are killing them.
Financial worries plague millennials
What is the most worried about financial fear? The top spot goes to job loss (21%), but it is closely followed by having a medical emergency (17%). The study found that millennials actually worry more about financial fears than their older counterparts, with 87.5% having at least one worry, compared to 82% of baby boomers.
What about fiscal mistakes? The top spot goes to not saving enough in their younger years to get through retirement (23%). When talking with millennials, the top and most common mistake was racking up credit card debt (18%). Another 13% regretted having overspent on a past relationship that’s gone wrong.
Fending off fears
SunTrust has come up with some tips to help people realize that taking action can help to alleviate financial fear. Their top tip is taking a first step, something like signing up for a 401k program offered by their company, if they do.
Keeping it positive can help too, which might mean instead of socking away money for a rainy day-re-frame it as a savings to build up confidence account. Focus on how good it would feel to have $2,000 or more in in their savings account, which would trump saving for a financial hardship.
Other tips including getting advice from a financial adviser, taking a close look at your net worth so you can resolve an issue, and getting on course to increase assets and reduce debt.
“Saving money in a confidence account for unexpected expenses is the first step to feeling like you have pockets full of cash,” said Brian Ford, financial well-being executive at SunTrust Bank. “While many people are feeling better about their finances as the economy gradually improves, more than a quarter of us would still rather ignore our financial challenges than face them. At onUp.com, SunTrust offers resources to help unmask whatever is haunting you financially.”
The National Financial Confidence Poll was conducted online in August of 2016 and it was taken by 2,767 people in the U.S. aged 18 and up.