How's your financial literacy?

Did you know April is Financial Literacy Month? At Marcus by Goldman Sachs®, we’d like to help you be in command of your personal finances. So we surveyed over 1,000 Americans with savings accounts on a variety of topics—including how in the know they are when it comes to their personal savings and general feelings toward their banks. We did this to help us estimate the overall financial literacy of our customers.

Financial literacy starts with having a clear understanding of your financial landscape, which helps you make better decisions about your money.

We’d like to help you save better by increasing your “Savings IQ.” Because the more you know, the more you could be saving.

What can you tell us about your savings account?

Have you ever been curious about where your savings stand in comparison to others? While it’s recommended that you start by putting at least 10% of your income, or as much as you reasonably can, into your savings, that’s not feasible for everyone. Here’s how America weighed in:

More than half of our respondents said they have less than $5,000 in their savings accounts today. If you don’t have a savings goal or are having trouble hitting yours, start by setting a realistic goal and making a plan to reach it. Start small and learn how to maximize your savings by getting educated about your finances.

Knowing the answers to questions like, “What is your current APY (annual percentage yield)?” and “How much interest did you earn last year?” is a key indicator of financial literacy—if you know what your APY is, you can compare it to the APY of other savings options. We found that almost 60% of our survey takers did not know the APY of their savings accounts and that more than half—about 52%— did not know how much interest their account earned last year.

This wasn’t too surprising because when we asked our survey respondents if they did research before they opened their savings accounts, 55.56% of our respondents said they opened them without even exploring or researching other options.

But what if not doing this research meant you were losing the chance to make money by saving?

If more people knew what their current APY was in comparison to other options out there, would they want to make a change? At Marcus, we think your savings account shouldn’t just store your money—it should make you money (think: interest). But when we asked our survey takers how they would describe their main banking institution, the vast majority said it would be accurate to describe their banks as just places that store their money.

It doesn’t have to be like that. If you don’t know your current APY or how much interest you have earned, go check your latest bank statement for your “interest earned.” You could be getting more out of your money with a no-fee online savings account from Marcus that can earn you more than the national average. A Marcus savings account ensures that, when you save, you’re not just storing your money—you’re making money.

We want you to feel that you’re fluent in the language of your personal finances. Visit our Resources Section for information geared toward helping you become a smarter saver.

Financial Literacy Survey was conducted by Marcus by Goldman Sachs® in March 2018 among 1,053 Americans who keep money in a savings account with their bank.

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This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for individualized professional advice. Articles on this site were commissioned and approved by Marcus by Goldman Sachs®, but may not reflect the institutional opinions of Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Goldman Sachs Bank USA or any of their affiliates, subsidiaries or divisions.