Hint: You might be a financial bat if you don’t want to read this article
If SunTrust’s National Financial Confidence Poll is any indication, many Americans will be dressing up like bats this Halloween. SunTrust recently conducted a survey that asked people which Halloween character best represents their financial state of mind. More than a quarter of those surveyed – 27 percent – said “bat” because they would rather sleep than think about their finances.
In addition to bats, people also identified with the following characters:
- Pirate: because their pockets are full of cash (27 percent)
- 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)
While sleeping through financial challenges might be an appealing solution at times, it only exacerbates financial frustrations down the road. Postponing retirement savings, for example, increases the amount a person will have to save later in life. SunTrust’s survey findings demonstrate this vividly: The most common financial regret among baby boomers is not saving more for retirement when they were younger.
Although some people are choosing to snooze rather than save, there is also positive news to report. Twenty-seven percent of people may feel like bats, but the same number said they feel like pirates because “their pockets are full of cash.”
That’s a positive sign, but there’s plenty of room for improvement.
For those who need a wake-up call, the first step to tackle a scary financial situation is a mental decision to do something, even it’s a small step such as participating in your company’s 401k program. Another “trick” is to focus on positive financials goals. Building a confidence account is more motivating than stashing money in a “rainy day” fund.
Visit onUp.com for tools, resources and inspiring stories to stay motivated and on financial track.
No matter which Halloween character represents your financial state of mind, it’s time to move past previous financial mistakes, unmask financial fears and recognize your financial situation will only improve if you take action.
About the Author
Brian Nelson Ford is SunTrust’s financial well-being executive. In this role, Brian is helping SunTrust to move people from financial stress to confidence through the onUp movement. Visit onUp.com to join.