Financial confidence is possible with planning

Share this

Financial confidence can bring new, fresh and positive perspectives to people’s lives overall, but roughly one-third of Americans say they are often or always stressed about money.1 What’s more, the average Financial Confidence Index score is 57 out of 100—that would be a failing grade in most high school classes. The good news? The onUp Movement is here to help you put financial confidence in reach. The research below shows how Americans today feel about their finances and confidence overall.

Financial confidence

  • About 1 in 5 ranks high for financial confidence
  • Those with high financial confidence (compared to those with very low) have:
    • Felt satisfied with their freedom to make life choices
      • High confidence: 96%
      • Very Low confidence: 49%
    • Donated to charity
      • High confidence: 65%
      • Very Low confidence: 21%
    • Experienced little or no stress of any kind
      • High confidence: 54%
      • Very Low confidence: 17%
    • Achieved an average happiness ranking of
      • High confidence: 8.2
      • Very Low confidence: 4.5

Basic Financial Behaviors

  • 32% feel as if they are living paycheck to paycheck
  • More than 1 in 3 spend according to a formal budget
  • Roughly 6 in 10 Americans pay off their credit card balances in full each month
  • 36% have credit card balances of $1,000 or more
  • 50% have less than $2,000 in their emergency savings, while 33% of Americans couldn’t cover a $2,000 expense without tapping into retirement savings

Retirement Landscape

  • 15% of full-time employees do not have any retirement savings or pension
  • 19% of full-time employees participate in a pension plan
  • 32% of retirees get income from a 401(k)
  • 84% of those offered a 401(k) program participate in it

Financial Stress

  • Millennials and Gen X feel the most financial stress, with the Silent Generation feeling the least
  • Student loans are the top stressor for millennials
  • 76% of Americans had recent financial stress. Top stressors include:
    1. Living expenses
    2. General debt 
    3. Credit card debt 
    4. Home expenses
    5. Medical expenses
    6. Inability to maintain adequate savings

Workplace Financial Wellness

  • 32% of workers have a financial wellness program available
  • Roughly 40% believe such a program could impact recruitment or retention decisions with an employer
  • More than half of workers want help understanding the target amount to save, as well as choosing investment options
  • The leading topics of interest for financial wellness programs are:
    1. Saving for retirement
    2. Paying off debt
    3. 401k investment

Financial confidence is possible with the right planning, and it starts by taking action at Because when you focus on what you truly want and align your saving and spending activity accordingly … that’s confidence, and nothing should keep you from that.

"When people are financially confident, they can enjoy what truly matters,” says Bill Rogers, SunTrust Chairman and CEO. Confidence starts here, and your time to reach new heights begins now.


Financial confidence for the win

For tips on saving and spending with confidence, join the onUp Movement.

1 “SunTrust National Financial Confidence Poll,” Q2 2018, SunTrust Bank.
SunTrust National Financial Confidence Poll Methodology: An online survey representative of the U.S. adult population, that is large enough to address Americans of different ages, incomes, and geographic regions. Fielded quarterly. Target of 2500 complete. Q2 2018 fielded May 14, 2018 to June 1, 2018.
This content does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.