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3 in 5 Americans Say Managing Money is More Mentally Demanding Than Solving a Crossword Puzzle

Digit.

Despite investing significant time into their finances, many Americans find managing their money to be too complex, according to a new Digit survey released today. In fact, nearly three in five (58%) said managing their money is more mentally demanding than solving a crossword puzzle.

From setting budgets to managing purchases, income and investments, Americans are spending several hours each month on their finances – and they continue to rely on antiquated methods in order to do so. Digit’s survey found respondents spend four hours on average per month managing their money. Even in a digitally-native world, the most popular money management method is with pen and paper (37%), including 30% of Gen Z and 28% of Millennials.

“Despite the fact that a strong relationship with money is essential to our lives, managing our money and achieving our financial goals is too time consuming and mentally taxing,” said Ethan Bloch, founder and CEO of Digit. “Our research shows that consumers have not been set up to maintain a healthy relationship with their finances, and in turn, reach their financial goals. Without tools and systems that are built to make finances more effortless and approachable, Americans are vulnerable to behaviors that will negatively impact their financial health.”

Even with a significant investment, Americans are not reaping benefits from their current approach to finances:

  • Among those who had financial goals, 78% admit they are concerned they don’t have a plan to reach their financial goals.
  • 44% were at least somewhat likely to dip into their savings in the first three months of 2022, with more than a quarter (27%) saying they were extremely or very likely to do so.
  • 13% don’t have any savings to dip into, with women nearly four times more likely than men to say this (19% of women versus 5% of men).

The ability to feel in control of finances leads to real mental and financial health benefits:

  • 92% say when they have their finances under control, they feel less anxious in their daily life.
  • 70% who manage their own finances – including those who use an app – report a positive relationship with money, compared to just 45% of those who don’t directly manage their money.
  • 88% of Millennials followed closely by Gen X (87%) say they manage their own money and are also the most likely to say their relationship with their finances is getting better (40% and 39%, respectively).

Methodological Notes

This survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,000 U.S. adults, between December 8th and December 13th, 2021, using an email invitation and an online survey. The margin of error for the study is +/- 3.1 %.

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