Young Adults’ Finances Poll

Following are the full results of a national survey conducted by The Gallup Organization on behalf of the National Endowment for Financial Education and USA TODAY. The poll explored the top financial issues concerning young adults ages 22 to 29; it was released on November 20 in conjunction with an exclusive six-week series titled “Young & In Debt,” which will run Mondays and Fridays from November 20 to December 29 in USA TODAY. The series describes the financial challenges that this age group is facing, while offering solutions for paying off debt, establishing a budget and saving for the future. To view the complete “Young & In Debt” series, visit the NEFE News section the week of January 1, 2007.

Download Survey as a PDF.


USA TODAY/NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR FINANCIAL EDUCATION

YOUNG ADULTS’ FINANCES POLL

Timberline: 149163
R: 691
Princeton Job #: 06-10-045

Jeff Jones, Frank Newport
October 26-November 14, 2006

Results are based on telephone interviews conducted October 26-November 14, 2006, with a random sample of –901—U.S. adults between the ages of 22 and 29. The sample consists of 690 respondents who had participated in earlier national Gallup polls and agree to be re-interviewed for a future poll, and 211 respondents who were randomly selected from a national sample of cell phone numbers. The sample is weighted by demographic information so that it is representative of 22-29 year olds nationwide. For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

To begin, we have some questions about your background.

1. Which of the following best describes your current situation – employed full-time, employed part-time, a homemaker, a student, unemployed but looking for work, or unemployed and not looking for work?

Employed full-time

62

Employed part-time

8

Homemaker

10

Student

11

Unemployed, looking for work

5

Unemployed, not looking for work

2

Disabled (vol.)

1

No opinion

*

2. Are you currently enrolled in college, graduate school or a trade school, or not?

Yes, enrolled

No, not enrolled

No opinion

24

75

*

3. What is the last grade or class that you completed in school? [OPEN-ENDED]

High school graduate or less

College, incomplete

College graduate

Post-graduate work

No answer

39

35

19

8

*

4. Do you plan to get any more education beyond what you currently have, or are you now finished with your schooling?

Plan to get more education

Finished with schooling

No opinion

68

26

6

5. Which of the following best describes where you are currently living – in a home that you, personally, own, in a home or apartment that you are renting, in the home of your parents or another relative, in a college dormitory or other student housing, or are you living somewhere else?

In a home that you, personally, own

39

In a home or apartment that you are renting

37

In the home of your parents or another relative

22

In a college dormitory or other student housing

1

Other (vol.)

1

No opinion

*

6. (Asked of respondents who rent their home or apartment) Do you share the rent with others, or do you pay the full rent yourself? [IF SHARE: Not including yourself, how many other people do you share the rent with?] [OPEN-ENDED]

BASED ON –312—RESPONDENTS WHO RENT THEIR HOME OR APARTMENT (±7 PCT. PTS.)

Pay full rent/ do not share

Share with one other person

Share with two other people

Share with three or more other people

No opinion

51

35

9

5

*

Thinking now about your personal financial situation,

7. How would you rate the job you are doing in managing your money – as excellent, good, only fair, or poor?

Excellent

Good

Only fair

Poor

No opinion

19

51

24

6

--

8. Would you say that you are presently living WITHIN your means, SOMEWHAT BEYOND your means, or FAR BEYOND your means?

Within means

Somewhat beyond means

Far beyond means

No opinion

70

22

5

3

9. Is your overall quality of life at this age – [ROTATED: better than what you expected it would be, about what you expected, or worse than what you expected it would be]?

Better

About as expected

Worse

No opinion

26

56

16

1

10. (Asked of respondents who have finished with their schooling or who have graduated college and are working full-time) When you first began living on your own after school, were your expenses – [ROTATED: higher than what you thought they would be, about what you expected, or lower than what you thought they would be]?

BASED ON –457—RESPONDENTS WHO HAVE FINISHED THEIR SCHOOLING OR WHO HAVE GRADUATED COLLEGE AND ARE WORKING FULL-TIME (±6 PCT. PTS.)

Higher

About as expected

Lower

No opinion

43

47

7

3

11. Do you think the financial pressures faced by your generation are – [ROTATED: tougher, about the same, or not as tough] – as those faced by previous generations?

Tougher

About the same

Not as tough

No opinion

60

26

11

3

12. At this time, what is your biggest financial concern? [OPEN-ENDED]

Cost of owning/renting/taking care of a home

21

Cost of education needs

17

Credit card debt

9

Retirement/having enough to retire

8

Taking care of family/raising children

8

Bills/keeping them paid

6

Transportation/cost of owning a vehicle/car insurance

6

Jobs/job security/low pay

5

Saving money

4

Health insurance costs/medical costs

4

Lack of money in general

4

Higher interest rates

*

Other

9

None

7

No opinion

4

Percentages add to more than 100% due to multiple responses.

13. Have you made any financial decisions in the past six months that you now regret, or not?

Yes, have

No, have not

No opinion

15

85

*

14. (Asked of respondents who have made financial decisions in the past six that they now regret) What were those? [OPEN-ENDED]

BASED ON –122—RESPONDENTS WHO HAVE MADE FINANCIAL DECISIONS IN THE PAST SIX MONTHS THAT THEY NOW REGRET (±11 PCT. PTS.)

Credit card debt

23

Unneeded purchases

17

Buying a car/vehicle expenses

16

Bad investments/business ventures

10

Buying a house

6

Took out a loan

1

Other

25

No opinion

5

Percentages add to more than 100% due to multiple responses.

On a different topic,

15. Do you work out a monthly budget to help plan for your expenses, or not?

Yes

No

No opinion

52

48

*

16. (Asked of respondents who work out a monthly budget to help plan expenses) How closely do you stick to your budget – very closely, somewhat closely, or not that closely?

BASED ON –487—RESPONDENTS WHO WORK OUT A MONTHLY BUDGET TO HELP PLAN EXPENSES (±6 PCT. PTS.)

Very closely

Somewhat closely

Not that closely

No opinion

38

56

6

--

COMBINED RESPONSES (Q.15-16): BASED ON FULL SAMPLE

Yes, work out monthly budget

52

(Stick to budget very closely)

(20)

(Stick to budget somewhat closely)

(29)

(Stick to budget not that closely)

(3)

No, do not work out monthly budget

48

No opinion

*

17. If you had to find a way to cut down on your spending, what would be the first thing you would eliminate? [OPEN-ENDED]

Dining out

22

Going out/spending money on entertainment

10

Clothes/shoes

9

TV services (cable/satellite/digital)

6

Tobacco

5

Alcohol

4

Transportation/car expenses

4

Phone/cell services

4

Junk food/candy/pop

3

Recreational/extra curricular activities

3

Gas

2

Credit cards

2

Travel/vacation

1

DVDs/CDs/movies/music

1

Hobbies

1

Personal beauty/health expenses

1

Internet service

1

Coffee

1

Electronics

*

Other

8

None/nothing

3

No opinion

10

18. Are there any items you probably should not spend as much money on as you do, but that you are not willing to give up in order to cut expenses? [Please tell me what those are.] [OPEN-ENDED]

Clothes/shoes

8

Tobacco

7

Junk food/candy/pop

6

Dining out

5

TV services (cable/satellite/digital)

4

Transportation/car expenses

3

DVDs/CDs/movies/music

3

Going out/spending money on entertainment

3

Alcohol

3

Phone/cell services

3

Gas

2

Electronics

2

Personal beauty/health expenses

2

Recreational/extra curricular activities

2

Internet service

1

Hobbies

1

Coffee

*

Travel/vacations

*

Credit cards

*

Other

5

None/nothing

43

No opinion

1

Percentages add to more than 100% due to multiple responses.

19. (Asked of respondents who are currently enrolled in college or who have attended college) Thinking now just about your college and graduate school education, did you, or are you, personally, paying for -- all of it, most of it, about half of it, less than half of it, or none of it?

BASED ON –674—RESPONDENTS WHO HAVE ATTENDED COLLEGE (±5 PCT. PTS.)

All

Most

About half

Less than half

None of it

No opinion

36

13

13

14

23

*

20. (Asked of respondents who are currently enrolled in college or who have attended college) Still thinking about your college and graduate education, please say whether each of the following was, or is, a major source of your funding for school, a minor source, or not a source. How about – [ITEMS A-F READ IN ORDER]?

BASED ON –674—RESPONDENTS WHO HAVE ATTENDED COLLEGE (±5 PCT. PTS.)

(sorted by “major source”)

Major source

Minor source

Not a source

No opinion

E. A full- or part-time job you had while you were in college

40

37

22

1

D. A scholarship or some other source of financial aid

40

27

32

*

C. Student loans

38

19

42

1

A. Money from your parents

26

27

47

*

F. Your personal savings

11

34

54

1

B. Money from relatives other than your parents, including an inheritance

3

12

84

1

Next,

21. Please tell me which of the following you, personally, have. [ITEMS A-C ROTATED; ITEM D READ LAST]

A. Credit cards, including bank credit cards, such as Visa and MasterCard and charge cards for specific stores

Yes

No

No opinion

69

31

*

B. Student loans

Yes

No

No opinion

33

67

--

C. A car loan

Yes

No

No opinion

45

55

*

D. Some other type of debt besides a mortgage

Yes

No

No opinion

24

76

*

22. (Asked of respondents who have debt) How often do you worry about the debt that you have – frequently, occasionally, rarely, or never?

BASED ON –810—RESPONDENTS WHO HAVE DEBT (±4 PCT. PTS.)

Frequently

Occasionally

Rarely

Never

Don’t have debt (vol.)

No opinion

30

34

23

13

1

*

23. (Asked of respondents who have debt) Please say whether you have or have not done any of the following because of the debts you have. [RANDOM ORDER]

BASED ON –810—RESPONDENTS WHO HAVE DEBT (±4 PCT. PTS.)

(sorted by “yes, have done”)

Yes, have

No, have not

No opinion

Put off or decided against furthering your education

29

70

1

Not bought a house or apartment

26

73

1

Took a job you would not have taken otherwise

22

77

*

Moved in with your parents or other relatives

19

81

*

Put off having children

14

85

1

Did not take a job you would have taken otherwise

12

87

1

Put off getting married

11

88

1

24. (Asked of respondents who have debt) Next, we’d like to learn about the amount of debt people are carrying. As a reminder, the data are only being collected for research purposes and I assure you all your responses to the survey are confidential. For each type of debt you have, stop me when I have read the appropriate range that corresponds to the amount you owe for that source. First, is the total amount of money you owe on your [ITEMS A-C ROTATED; ITEM D READ LAST] less than $1,000, $1,000-$5,000, more than $5,000 but less than $10,000, more than $10,000 but less than $20,000, more than $20,000 but less than $50,000, or more than $50,000?

A. Credit cards

B. Student loans

C. Car loans

D. Other debts

Less than $1,000

47

5

5

28

$1,000-$5,000

31

23

18

33

More than $5,000-less than $10,000

13

19

24

12

More than $10,000-less than $20,000

6

28

33

9

More than $20,000-less than $50,000

2

19

16

5

More than $50,000

--

5

1

10

No answer

1

1

3

2

Sample size of respondents w/ each type of debt

686

362

427

195

Margin of error

±5 pct. pts.

±7 pct. pts.

±6 pct. pts.

±9 pct. pts.

Thinking again about your current situation,

25. Please tell me whether you, personally, have [RANDOM ORDER], or not.

A. Health insurance

Yes

No

No opinion

73

27

--

B. A retirement savings plan, such as an IRA or 401(k)

Yes

No

No opinion

45

55

1

C. A personal savings account that you contribute to regularly

Yes

No

No opinion

60

40

*

26. (Asked of respondents who have a retirement savings plan) Do you think you are saving enough for retirement, or do you think you should be saving more?

BASED ON –480—RESPONDENTS WHO HAVE A RETIREMENT SAVINGS PLAN (±6 PCT. PTS.)

Saving enough

Should be saving more

No opinion

33

65

1

Turning to something else,

27. Do you ever talk with someone you trust about your personal finances, or not?

Yes, do

No, do not

No opinion

67

33

*

Next,

28. Please say whether you are – or are not -- getting any of the following types of financial assistance from a parent or other relative. [RANDOM ORDER]

(sorted by “yes, are getting”)

Yes, are getting

No, are not getting

No opinion

Giving or loaning you money when you need it for major expenses

28

71

1

Providing you with room and board

18

81

*

Help paying your normal bills

11

89

*

Providing you with a car

11

89

*

Health insurance

9

90

*

Current college tuition or expenses

7

92

*

Money to supplement your income on a regular basis

7

93

*

Help paying student loans

5

95

*

29. Thinking about last week, how many times did you eat dinner out at a restaurant of any kind?

None

21

One

22

Two

22

Three

14

Four

9

Five

6

Six

1

Seven

5

No opinion

1

Mean (including none)

2.1

Median (including none)

2

Finally,

30. How much would you estimate that you, personally, spend on entertainment, such as dining out, going to the movies or other events, or buying music, in a typical month?

$0/ none

$1- $50

$51-$100

$101-$250

$251-$499

$500 or more

No opinion

Mean (including zero)

Median

4

25

21

25

13

10

2

$204

$100

Gallup® and The Gallup Poll® are trademarks of The Gallup Organization. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Copyright © 2006 The Gallup Organization, Princeton, NJ. All rights reserved.

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