How scary are your finances?

On October 19, 2016 in Financial Management

How scary are your finances?

It’s the season of ghosts and goblins, so SunTrust Bank conducted a National Financial Confidence Poll of U.S. consumers to see which Halloween character best represents their financial state of mind.

The results? More than a quarter of Americans surveyed – 27 percent – chose “bat” because they would rather sleep than think about their finances. The good news — the same percent identified with pirates because “their pockets are full of cash,” perhaps reflecting the strengthening U.S. economy.

In addition to “bat” and “pirate,” people also identified with the following Halloween characters:
• Ghost: because unexpected expenses keep making my savings disappear (19 percent).
• Vampire: because just paying the bills seems to suck the life out of my paychecks (19 percent).
• Skeleton: because excessive spending habits are killing me financially (8.5 percent).

How do your financial fears compare with those of other consumers? See the infographic below from SunTrust.


To help conquer these financial fears and take steps toward financial confidence, SunTrust offers the following tips:

1. Recognize that your financial situation will only improve if you take action. The first step is a mental decision to do something, even if it’s a small step such as signing up for your company’s 401k program.

2. Focus on positive financial goals. Instead of a “rainy day” fund, call it a confidence account. Think about how much better you will feel with $2,000 or more in savings. Also set rewards for reaching savings goals.

3. Meet with a financial advisor. Everybody can benefit from accountability on their journey to financial confidence. Set up a meeting with a financial advisor to talk about your goals and how to get there.

4. Calculate your net worth. While it might be scary at first sight, seeing your assets and debts on paper can quickly uncover any missteps to resolve. Then, as your assets increase and debts decrease, you can start to see yourself headed in the right direction.

The national online survey was conducted in August 2016, among 2,767 U.S. adults age 18 and older.