September 15, 2019

AICPA Survey: College Students Overconfident, Exaggerate, Delusional, Etc. Etc. About Their Personal Finance Skills

I think most people look back on their college selves and think, "I was dumb to think I was so smart," or "At least I'm not that irresponsible anymore," or "Man, I was really bad at sex." 

With that in mind, it's sort of fun to learn that the AICPA conducted a survey that tells us exactly what you would expect about college students' perspectives on their own money management skills:

American college students’ personal financial management skills are lacking—and yet they believe they’re good at managing their money, a recent AICPA survey found. Fifty-seven percent of the 751 students polled rated their financial management skills as “good” or “excellent,” but their spending and saving behavior indicates their skills are not as sharp as they believe.

Just 39% said they adhered to a monthly budget, for example, while almost half said there had been a point in the past 12 months when they had less than $100 in their bank accounts. Just under half (49%) said they had put money aside for tuition in the past 12 months. Thirty-eight percent said they had borrowed money from friends or family.

Nevertheless, just 12% of students said their financial management skills were “poor” or “terrible,” while around a third (31%) rated their skills as “fair.”

Oh, you mean college students inflate their own intelligence? Fail to prepare? Lack self-awareness? MIND. BLOWN.

Despite this, 99% of those surveyed said developing money management skills was "extremely" or "very" important to them. Oh, right, they mean well.

I'm picking on college students, but they shouldn't despair; adults are just as bad about finances. The only difference is adults are completely aware of it. I guess not living in denial is something you gain as you get older.

[JofA]

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