Young Americans Check Their Facebook More Than Their Bank Balance, Says AICPA

In honor of financial literacy month, the AICPA had Harris Interactive conduct a telephone survey to find out how often Americans check their social media accounts versus their bank accounts. The results should not be all that surprising.

According to the survey, seventeen percent of 18- to 34-year-olds check their bank accounts daily. That’s less than one-third of the 54% of Americans in that age group who reported checking their social media accounts at least once a day. On average, those who check their social media accounts do so more than seven times daily; those who check bank accounts do so an average of three times a day.

The kids aren't the only ones choosing not to religiously track their financial health. Among 35- to 44-year-olds, 34% check social media accounts at least once a day; 14% check their bank accounts daily.

Four in 10 adults reported that they never check their retirement account balances, and one-quarter of seniors and adults with a high school education or less never check their bank account balances.

It is unclear from the Journal of Accountancy article what counted as "checking," which to me could be interpreted as anything from using a financial app like Mint or (my personal favorite), texting one's bank for a balance.

The National CPA Financial Literacy Commission offers the following tips on checking finances:

Each Friday, stop by an ATM, log in to your bank account, or call your financial institution to verify your balances and the accuracy of your transactions. That will give you an educated start to your weekend, when you are more likely to make discretionary purchases.

If you check your bank account on the internet, do so from a secured network at your home. Don’t save financial passwords on your computer or mobile device; you don’t want your security compromised.

When checking the status of your friends on social media, check your financial status. Once a day, check your account online or by phone to verify the accuracy of your transactions.

Set up text alerts with your banks and credit card companies to inform you when you reach a pre-determined threshold.

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