Money Talks WORK



Key stats:

  • Raise (the conversation): One third (33%) of Americans don’t feel comfortable asking for a pay raise, and yet more than half (56%) wish discussing salaries wasn’t taboo.
  • Clairvoyant cash seekers: 1 in 4 millennials consult a fortune teller for financial guidance, yet just 33% of people have turned to a financial advisor for advice.
  • #1 money mistake: Not saving enough for the future, according to 41%. 
  • Going public: 34% of Americans would share their salary information on their LinkedIn to help find career opportunities.

Let’s circle back on that 

Figuring out personal finance is intimidating and overwhelming for half of Americans (48%), and when it comes to managing their money, 39% say they don’t know where to start, including 41% of women and 37% men. Compare that with sky-high confidence managing money at work: 73% feel at ease overseeing company budgets and the majority say they clearly understand their employer’s finances and performance (70%).

Reassuringly, people have a strong grasp on employer benefits like the availability of their company’s 401(k) plan (80%) and say they know how their pay raises work (77%). Advocating for themselves is where it gets tricky – one third (33%) of people don’t feel comfortable asking for an increase. Men feel more comfortable asking for a pay raise than women (74% vs. 59%). Better market data on compensation could potentially boost negotiation confidence, and nearly half (49%) of survey respondents (and a majority of Millennials 69% and Gen Z 71%) believe discussing salaries can lead to better career opportunities.

Despite the rise of wage transparency legislation in many states, Americans say they avoid uncomfortable money talk at work (68%), and more than half (56%) wish discussing salaries wasn’t taboo. Some 44% are browsing job listings in states with pay transparency laws to compare salaries, including 72% of Gen Z and 64% of Millennials.

Not at this water cooler  

Do you know how much your coworkers make? Just 19% of respondents say they’ve asked. But the workplace isn’t the only area Americans are staying quiet. People haven’t asked their friends (68%) or family (60%) either. Women are less comfortable talking about money with coworkers than men (36% women vs. 50% men).

That said, people may not be as shy as expected: 58% of Millennials and 53% of Gen Z (and 34% of Americans overall), would share their salary information on their LinkedIn.

What’s it amount to? According to 62% of respondents, open money conversations could solve the gender wage gap. Americans say greater wage transparency would motivate employees to work harder (50%) and help avoid miscommunications (60%).

Feeling lucky

Comparison may be the thief of joy, and whether it’s keeping up with the Joneses (or Kardashians), many Americans say they look around and often wonder “where do people get the money” when they’re scrolling social media (60%) or comparing themselves to their real-life social circles (64%).

Given many people’s “say less” mentality, it’s no wonder Americans flock to the internet and social media for advice, including two thirds (66%) of those surveyed. Leaving no stone unturned, Americans seek a variety of sources for money advice, including 24% of Millennials who say they regularly turn to fortune tellers for guidance.

Believing in magic doesn't seem too far-fetched when 71% of Americans say they have purchased a lottery ticket — compare that to just one-third (33%) who have turned to a financial advisor.

Biggest mistakes and crypto’s big bet 

We all make mistakes. Eight in 10 Americans (83%) admit to making at least one money mistake, with not saving enough for the future (41%), accumulating too much debt (36%), and not having an emergency fund (34% overall, 41% women, 28% men) being the most common. Some 18% say they missed out by not investing in a 401(k).

More than half of Millennials and Gen Z (52% and 51%) rely on buy-now-pay-later plans when making bigger purchases they can’t afford otherwise. With debt so high up on the money mistakes list, nearly half of Americans (47%) confess that filing for bankruptcy wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen to them. 

Of those surveyed, more men admit to having taken on too much risk with their investments (23% men vs. 14% women) but many people don’t want to miss their chance on cryptocurrency, either. Nearly half (45%) of Americans say new currencies are the future and an important part of a financial portfolio (39%). More men invest in crypto for extra income than women (21% vs 9%), and 36% overall believe crypto and NFTs will surpass fiat currency in popularity. Yet, the vast majority acknowledge that they don’t understand them (67%) and see these assets as a gamble (81%). Don’t go at it alone, say 68%, indicating it may be useful to work with a financial professional for advice.

Side hustle hedges 

Half (52%) of Americans are also betting on their futures by turning to a side hustle or second job as a way to generate more income.  Younger generations are more likely to have tried a side gig, with 78% of Gen Z and Millennials picking up a second gig to make more money.

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