First-Ever SoFi Spending & Savings Study Shows the Generational Divide of Talking About Money, Impact of Social Media on Finances and Financial x Mental Health
Social lives, social media and generational differences play a large role in spending, saving and speaking about money, with the inaugural SoFi Spending & Savings Study¹ showing that almost half of adults don’t ever discuss finances with their friends and family (46%). In fact, when asked, consumers reported that they would rather share their worst hookup story (79.5%) than their bank balance, and most consumers flatly refuse to share a bank account with their best friend (87%), preferring their friends read through all their texts than read their bank statements even.
“The relationship between people and their finances is often a complicated one, and too often I see people making issues worse or adding stress by not discussing their finances, whether with a friend, family or a professional like me,” said SoFi’s Brian Walsh, CFP®². “My whole career has been based on encouraging people to be proactive about managing and talking about their money, and why I have spent the last 5 years working one-on-one with SoFi members to empower them to achieve their financial goals. There is no need for social media, lack of financial education or discussion about money to hamper anyone’s path to financial independence.”
The survey, fielded by SoFi Checking and Savings³, showed the younger generations are much more open to speaking about their finances and being open with their friends and family about money than previous generations:
- Nearly 70% of Boomers said they never speak about their finances to friends and family, compared to only 37% of Gen Zers (18 - 22)
- Gen Zers are the only ones who would much rather friends read through their bank statement than their texts (62% of 18 - 22 year olds compared to 39% of everyone)
- While Gen Zers would still prefer to share a texting app or email account with a friend than a bank account, five times as many (25%) are open to sharing a bank account than their Boomer counterparts (5%)
Social media has been serving as a valuable tool for financial education, but the ranking of which platforms people turn to the most may be surprising to some:
- Facebook (39%)
- TikTok (23%)
- Instagram (18%)
- Reddit (13%)
- Twitter (7%)
Despite Facebook reigning supreme for financial education, young adults under 30 are much more likely to get their financial education from TikTok than anywhere else.
Banking Habits & Fees
More than half of the consumers surveyed (60%) reported paying banking fees this year, with most (40%) having paid anywhere from $15 to $100 in fees. A rather intriguing statistic considering that nearly a third of consumers have overdrafted their bank accounts 3-5 times in the last year, while most consumers (64%) don’t know the interest rate that they are earning on their savings account. Interestingly, Millennials are the most likely to be aware of what interest rate they are earning on their accounts.
SoFi Checking and Savings, which just celebrated a year of better banking, was launched in February 2022. Prioritizing members’ personal finances and peace of mind, SoFi Checking and Savings offers a list of benefits, including 4.20% APY⁴ (Annual Percentage Yield), 10 times the national average savings rate offered by banks⁵, for direct deposit members, zero account fees, no fee Overdraft Coverage⁶, as well as giving members the option to access up to $2 million of FDIC insurance through the SoFi Insured Deposit Program.⁷
Financial Health & Mental Health
While people are seeking out financial education and working on their finances, nearly two-thirds of consumers (65%) reported feeling stressed by their finances right now. Of consumers who were stressed by their finances, people in their 20s reported the highest levels of stress (31% reporting feeling very stressed) and Boomers reporting the least amount of stress (21% reporting not at all stressed by their finances).
“I’ve seen people find themselves in a loop of stressing about money, and leading to further financial issues because they aren’t facing their money situation head on,” says Brian Walsh. “Being proactive about your finances, no matter your income level, is crucial to achieving your goals. This is why SoFi offers easy ways to track your finances and automate savings, taking some of the guesswork, effort and stress out of the process, as well as offering financial planners like me to help offer bespoke solutions.”
Nearly 70% of consumers report feeling their finances impact their mental health (68%). The survey further revealed that 40% of consumers avoid checking their bank balance due to stress over money, while over half (58%) don’t feel comfortable with the amount they have saved right now.
The study revealed people’s stress and anxiety around their finances manifests in various ways, and similar to conversing about money, largely depends on their age bracket:
- 57% of consumers in their 20s avoid checking their bank balance due to stress over their finances, compared to 42% of all consumers
- Gen Xers in their 50s are the most concerned about their savings, with 66% saying they don’t feel comfortable with the amount they have in savings (compared to 58% of all respondents)
- Gen Z and Millennials are most likely to feel their finances impact their mental health a lot (37% of respondents between 23 - 29 and 35% of respondents between 30 - 42, respectively)
Research findings are based on an online survey conducted by SoFi Checking and Savings in the U.S. between April 10 - April 14. For this survey, 3,855 consumers were asked about their banking experiences and perspective on personal finances as it pertains to their mental health and social life. This survey targeted general population consumers between 18 - 66+ years of age.
SoFi (NASDAQ: SOFI) is a member-centric, one-stop shop for digital financial services on a mission to help people achieve financial independence to realize their ambitions. The company’s full suite of financial products and services helps its more than 5.2 million SoFi members borrow, save, spend, invest, and protect their money better by giving them fast access to the tools they need to get their money right, all in one app. SoFi also equips members with the resources they need to get ahead – like career advisors, credentialed financial planners, exclusive experiences and events, and a thriving community – on their path to financial independence.
SoFi Technologies innovates across three business segments: Lending, Financial Services – which includes SoFi Checking and Savings, SoFi Invest, SoFi Credit Card, SoFi Protect, and SoFi Insights – and Technology Platform, which offers the only end-to-end vertically integrated financial technology stack. SoFi Bank, N.A., an affiliate of SoFi, is a nationally chartered bank, regulated by the Federal Reserve, OCC, and FDIC. The company is also the naming rights partner of SoFi Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Chargers and the Los Angeles Rams. For more information, visit SoFi.com or download our iOS and Android apps.
1. The SoFi Spending & Saving Survey findings are based on an online survey of 3,855 consumers conducted by SoFi Checking and Savings in the U.S. between April 10 - April 14.
2. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP Board) owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design), and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.
Advisory services are offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC an SEC-Registered Investment Adviser. Information about SoFi Wealth’s advisory operations, services, and fees is set forth in SoFi Wealth’s current Form ADV Part 2 (Brochure), a copy of which is available upon request and at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov. INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED, HAVE NO GUARANTEE, AND MAY LOSE VALUE. Sofi can’t guarantee future financial performance and past performance is no guarantee. Automated investing via SoFi Wealth LLC, a registered investment advisor. Active investing via SoFi Securities LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms, please visit www.sofi.com/legal. Screen images simulated. 234 1st Street San Francisco, CA 94105 ©2019 Social Finance, Inc. All rights reserved.
3. SoFi Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A.
4. SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 4.20% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 1.20% APY on checking balances. There is no minimum direct deposit amount required to qualify for the 4.20% APY for savings.
Members without direct deposit will earn 1.20% APY on all account balances in checking balances and savings balances without direct deposit (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 4/25/2023. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.
5. 10x based on FDIC monthly savings account rate as of April 17, 2023.
6. Overdraft Coverage is limited to $50 on debit card purchases only and is available to customers with monthly direct deposits of $1,000 or more. Members with a prior history of non-repayment of negative balances are ineligible for Overdraft Coverage.
7. SoFi Bank is a member FDIC and does not provide more than $250,000 of FDIC insurance per legal category of account ownership, as described in the FDIC’s regulations. Any additional FDIC insurance is provided by the SoFi Insured Deposit Program. Deposits may be insured up to $2M through participation in the program. See full terms at sofi.com/banking/fdic/terms. See list of participating banks at sofi.com/banking/fdic/receivingbanks.