Young adults know saving is important, but need education

March 18, 2015

WASHINGTON (3/19/15)--The lesson that it's important to save money appears to be rubbing off on young people, but many have not been properly taught how to do so, according to findings from a series of focus groups conducted by America Saves.

Participants in the America Saves First-Time Worker program--offered in conjunction with Summer Youth Employment Programs--were recently asked to participate in focus groups conducted by the Alan Newman Research Group during their summer jobs.

Those who participated, many of whom lived in low-income census tracts in Miami, Chicago and Washington, D.C., were asked questions about their opinions and habits on saving, spending and borrowing.

"While many of the participants knew that saving money was important and had positive benefits, many were unable to save," said George Barany, America Saves financial education director.

The Top 10 insights learned from the responses were:

  1. They know it's important to save, but don't know how.
  2. They know it's important to start saving early and that they can start with small savings.
  3. While aware of savings best practices, many had difficulty actually saving money and/or meeting their savings goals.
  4. They are familiar with direct deposit but do not view it as a savings tool.
  5. The most successful savers had two accounts, one for spending and one for saving.
  6. They have contradictory feelings about prepaid cards.
  7. They understand that spending is about temptation, so they develop strategies to avoid temptation.
  8. They understand that living within their means and saving is the way to accumulate wealth.
  9. They feel proud earning money.
  10. They don't like the idea of borrowing money.


MoneyMix, a website for young adults ages 18-30.

Guide to Money--Get Ahead of the Game handbook