For National Financial Literacy Month, Chartway Credit Union has released insights gained from a national research study it commissioned to identify the saving and spending habits of Americans. The data collected from a random online survey of 2,000 Americans shows how people develop financial habits, how they view financial responsibility, and their interest in lifelong financial learning.

“While our study revealed some similarities between the generations in their approach to personal financial responsibility, one of the notable differences we discovered is how individuals apply any financial training they may have received to managing their own finances responsibly,” said Brian T. Schools, President & CEO of Chartway.

For example, Schools noted that respondents in older age groups were less likely to have any formal financial education (e.g., classes or seminars); Gen Z (49%) had the most, Baby Boomers (27%) received the least.  Yet when it came to naming the most difficult part of managing their finances, Gen Z cited ‘finding resources or helpful information.’ 

“Conflicting data like this tells us that young adults aren’t fully benefitting from their present financial training and could gain from continuing financial education as they age,” Schools said.

Financial responsibility

  • When considering everything that describes ‘a financially responsible person,’ differences appeared among the age cohorts:

    • ‘Having a certain amount of savings’ was vastly important (60% and above) to all ages except Gen Z (39%), who much more favored ‘Having little/no debt (Credit cards, Student loans)’ (70%), and ‘Having a good credit score’ (59%).

    • Lowest-ranked attributes for Gen Z and Gen Y were ‘On-time bill payment’ (45%/46%) and ‘Sticking to a monthly budget’ (19%/20%).

    • Interestingly, ‘Owning a home’ didn't make the top three attributes for any age cohort.

  • While 36% of Gen Z considered themselves ‘very financially responsible,’ almost as many (32%) considered themselves ‘somewhat or very financially irresponsible.’

    • No more than 10% in any other age group saw themselves this way.

  • Highest-ranked interest in various aspects of financial education (by age):

    • Gen Z – Saving (59%)

    • Gen Y – Credit cards/reports (58%)

    • Gen X – Investing (54%)

    • Boomers – Investing (41%)

    • Greatest Gen – Credit cards/reports (76%) and Loans/Debt (74%)

  • When identifying the most difficult parts of managing finances, the top challenge for each age group was as follows:

    • Gen Z – ‘finding resources or helpful information’ (47%)

    • Gen Y – ‘limiting unnecessary spending’ (53%)

    • Gen X (44%), Boomers (55%), and Greatest Gen (77%)– 'budgeting for unexpected expenses

  • Other findings:

    • In roughly the same percentages, both men and women ranked attributes of being ‘financially responsible’ as (in order): ‘Having a good credit score’ (F-65%/M-63%), ‘Having a certain amount in savings’ (F-59%/M-61%), and ‘Being debt-free’ (F-66%/M-63%). ‘Sticking to a monthly budget’ ranked about the same (F-28%/M-26%).

    • Men (80%) and women (79%) both considered themselves ‘financially responsible’ by age 40, but more women (8%) than men (3%) felt they weren’t ‘financially responsible’ at any age.

 Chartway’s research partner, OnePoll, collected data through a random online survey of 2,000 Americans between December 21, 2022, and January 3, 2023. Survey age cohorts are defined as: Gen Z (18-25), Gen Y/Millennials (26-41), Gen X (42-57), Boomers (58-76), and Greatest Gen (77+).

Chartway offers learning opportunities to the communities it serves through its financial wellness center on For members, the website has even more customized learning and tools available, including one-on-one counseling opportunities with team members certified in financial education.

About Chartway Credit Union

Since 1959, Chartway has been unlocking the potential of individuals and families so they can thrive. Member-owned and value-driven, our $2.6 billion credit union proudly serves more than 200,000 members, with branches in Utah, Texas, and Virginia. We’ve been recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Best-In-State Credit Unions in 2022, included on American Banker’s Top Credit Union to Work For 2022 list, and received numerous other top workplace and best credit union accolades. Reflecting a bright way forward, our charitable arm, the Chartway Promise Foundation, has raised nearly $14 million to bring joy, hope, and smiles to children facing medical hardship or illness. For information on our vibrant organization, please visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.