Money Talks PLAY



Key stats:   

  • Gray area: Americans are unsure about how much to spend on a wedding gift (67%), negotiating with a dealer to buy a car (67%), and whether or not to get a prenup (59%). 
  • Rounding up: 64% of Americans are unsure whether or not to round to the nearest dollar amount when paying someone back using Venmo or Zelle. 
  • Reality check: More people are familiar with Elon Musk’s net worth (28%) than their own family’s (24%). 
  • Get the bag: Millennials and Gen Z prefer using the money mouth face and money bag when texting.

Financial faux pas  

Everyday money etiquette can be tricky, and people often aren’t sure what to do when money enters the chat. Americans confess they’re uncertain navigating spending money in a variety of situations, whether it’s buying a wedding gift (67%), negotiating with a dealer to buy a car (67%), splitting a bill at a restaurant on a first date (56%), budgeting for a vacation (56%), and tipping (54%). The payment playbook is especially tough for Gen Z, who say they’re unsure how to divide rent (72%) and how to split a bill among friends at a restaurant or bar (61%).

These money maneuvers may remain a mystery, considering more than a quarter of Americans (28%) feel they will be judged for asking money questions, such as talking about budgets. Half of Americans (52%, and 70% Gen Z, 67% Millennials) say they’ve avoided taking vacations with friends out of concern they don't have the same budget, from the price point for a destination, to experiences like which restaurants to visit on the trip.

Nearly half of Americans (46%) say they’re uncomfortable asking a person to pay them back, and prefer requesting their cash using digital payments like Venmo or Zelle (51%). Modern solutions have modern dilemmas, too. Two-thirds of Americans (64%) are uncertain whether to round to the nearest dollar amount when using digital wallet payments.

When it comes to spending, other social situations Americans find uncomfortable include joining a fantasy football league (61%), joining a bridal or groomsman party (45%), and being asked to donate to a specific charity (36%).

Net worth in your network 

Pop culture influences everyday life – especially when it comes to money. So much so that Americans are more familiar with Elon Musk’s net worth (28%) than their own family’s (24%). In fact, just six in 10 Americans know their own net worth (58%), and only 38% know their partner’s.

Gen Z knows the most about how much celebrities make, counting coins for Jeff Bezos (47%), Beyonce (41%), Tom Brady (35%), and Kim Kardashian (33%) vs. knowing the net worth of their friends (26%), family (24%), or coworkers (20%).

So how much do Americans have? Let’s take a look at net worth, according to data from Empower Personal Dashboard™ and from The Fed.

Average net worth by age (02/28/23) 

Age (decade) 

Avg. net worth 

Median net worth 

Total users