The degree that younger consumers rely on their debit cards was underlined in results from a survey conducted by the $726 million Texas Trust Credit Union, headquartered in Mansfield, Texas.
The 58,000-member credit union surveyed 1,100 North Texas consumers ages 13 to 25 about their awareness and use of financial services. Texas Trust conducted the survey from March 30 to April 10 in advance of Youth Financial Week, April 22 – 28.
Half of young consumers surveyed reported they had some form of relationship with a financial institution and 70% reported having a checking account and/or a savings account. In roughly 50% of responses, these accounts are in the name of the young consumer.
More than 72% of the survey respondents reported using a debit card as the primary means of accessing funds while only 16% reported relying on their parents for spending money as needed and 38% reported having a credit card account.
But while they may have checking accounts, more younger people leave those accounts unbalanced than balance them on regular basis.
Thirty-four percent of those surveyed took the view that "it doesn't matter as long as you don't overdraw or exceed your charge limit." Thirty-percent replied that they reconcile once a month and 3% said they balance once a year, the CU said.
When it comes to learning about personal finances and budgeting, parents are a young person's primary teacher. Seventy-four percent of those surveyed said their parents taught them how to budget, while only 11% said they have no budget at all.
"This survey confirmed what we suspected, which is a high level of financial maturity among young people," said Amber Danford, vice president of marketing for Texas Trust. "Young people are clearly more independent today and many are opening their own accounts without anyone co-signing for them. They also have access to a greater number of financial products and services geared to them, and exercise a fair amount of control over their own money, making it easier for them to participate in commerce."