Moven Research Reveals the Frustration Behind Americans’ Money Woes
It’s no secret Americans today are facing a challenging financial landscape and paying close attention to their finances is a priority moving into 2015, but money anxiety and limited resources have them looking for help in all the wrong places. New research from Moven, the first spending app and debit card that provides real-time behavioral feedback and instant receipts to help customers spend smarter, shows that 1 in 6 (17%) Americans are actually turning to the Internet or Google for financial advice. That number is even higher among millennials (ages 18-34), with 1 in 4 (24%) reporting they would seek out advice via Google or the Internet.
Moven commissioned accredited research firm YouGov to study the financial behavior of a representative sample of 1,178 American adults. The findings indicate that money anxiety is causing Americans to actively seek out financial information, but they lack the tools and resources needed to truly be successful. Given the upcoming holiday shopping season its likely many Americans will overspend in the coming months and Moven’s research suggests most will be unprepared for the inevitable shock once it’s time to pay the bills.
“For most people, sticking to a budget is nearly impossible because monthly expenses never stay the same and unexpected expenses can easily throw consumers off track,” said Alex Sion, President of Moven. “In reality, budgets are an outdated way of managing expenses and consumers would be better served finding resources that help them understand how fast they spend and where they are spending. With real-time feedback they can focus more on changing their behavior instead of tediously updating a budget,” he added.
Additional key findings from the research include:
Financial Wellness a Concern, But Tools are Sorely Lacking
- Financial wellness is a major concern moving into 2015: Half (50%) of Americans are planning to discuss financial wellness with their families in the next 12 months. This is significantly more than plan to discuss their physical health (46%), career/ the job market (34%), education (26%), or mental health (19%).
- Americans don’t think they have what they need to be financially successful in 2015: 1 in 5 (19%) Americans think they would keep a financial resolution in 2015 if they had better resources to do it. 1 in 6 (18%) think that if they had real-time feedback on their spending habits it would help them keep a financial New Year’s resolution.
Money Matters When It Comes to Love
- Talking financial wellness could save a romantic relationship: 1 in 4 (26%) of Americans said financial wellness caused the most stress in their relationships. In fact, it was listed as the number one stressor in romantic relationships across all age groups.This was at least doublethe amount of Americans that listed physical health (12%), their career (11%), mental health (10%) and their geographical location (8%) as number one.
Keeping Track is Too Much Work, Especially For Millennials
- Americans don’t take budgets seriously: A third of Americans (33%) that keep a budget found it frustrating just because they couldn’t stick to it. More than a quarter (26%) were frustrated because it was too stressful or overwhelming. And, in today’s digital age, a surprising 1 in 3 (36%) Americans are keeping track of their monthly expenses on a piece of paper.
- Americans would rather someone else do their work: Consumers know they can’t keep a budget on their own and are turning to other people or services to track their monthly expenses. Technology is becoming increasingly important in this regard, as almost a quarter of Americans (24%) are relying on services from their bank and 1 in 10 (10%) are relying on a personal finance app.
- Men are lazier than women at keeping budgets: Men and women are both equally terrible budgeters, 23 percent don’t keep a budget at all. Men that do keep a budget are more likely to be frustrated with it because they are lazier (22%) than women (19%). Men (11%) that keep budgets are much more likely to keep track of their expenses with a personal finance app than women (8%). More than 1 in 3 women (42%) that keep budgets are actually doing so on a piece of paper, compared to just 31 percent of men.
- Americans are obsessed with checking their bank accounts: Despite the fact they can’t stick to their budgets, Americans are trying to monitor their spending. Nearly a quarter (23%) of Americans check their spending accounts once a day or more. 1 in 4 women (24%) check their spending accounts once a day or more, compared to 1 in 5 (21%) of men.
- There’s no cure for millennials’ financial anxiety: 1 in 11 (19%) millennials check their spending accounts multiple times a day, more than any other age group, but a third of millennials (31%) don’t even keep a budget at all. They are most likely to benefit as technology evolves and provides resources beyond just budgeting services for money conscious consumers, yet just 1 in 6 (18%) has turned to a personal finance app to track their monthly expenses.
“Financial health, like physical health, is about understanding your current situation, behaviors and trajectory so that you can make changes to improve your ability to live your life and survive unexpected shocks,” said Sion. “The upcoming holiday season is a great time to step back and take stock of your finances and reflect on whether your daily habits and behaviors are empowering or endangering your long term money goals which is much more effective than trying to stick to a budget that’s destined to fail,” he added
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Moven commissioned accredited research agency YouGov Plc to poll the views of a representative sample of 1,178 U.S. adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between October 24-27, 2014. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. adults (aged 18+). The research was carried out online.