Part 3 of 3: Understanding the New Age Wave – Who Is Influencing Gen Y for Banking?

My Marketing Strategy
Nicolette Lemmon, President & Founder

As a Boomer, I continue to wonder how different the Gen Y Age Wave will be than our consumer wave. As a young adult, I opened my first checking account at age 16 at a nearby community bank. My parents did not take me to their bank to set up my first checking account when I started working a part-time job. They really didn’t influence my decision nor did they show an active interest in my learning about money management.

Parent teaching money managementIs Gen Y different because Boomers have treated them differently than the Silent Generation? Have the Boomers been better collaborators with their kids to set them up for more success? There are some statistics that Boomers wanted to escape living with their parents’ for freedom, while many Gen Yers rely on their parents for decision-making and are comfortable living back at home.

To find out more, I decided to send a quick survey to 4 Gen Y-ers in our consulting firm about the influence of their parents on their early banking decisions. Here were some results:

  • Opened first checking account? Of the group, 3 had opened their first checking account at the bank/credit union where their parents had accounts. And, it was interesting to note that the youngest age for opening a first checking account was 13, then 15, then 17 and 18.
  • Making financial decisions? For making new decisions, all said they do research on money management sites on the Internet. 3 of the 4 said they will consult parents, but none rely on friends for knowledge about financial decisions.

Kristin, one of my Gen Y participants said, “I just remember my mom teaching me how to balance my checkbook, and I’m pretty sure it was when I was in 7th or 8th grade! I really think balancing my checkbook got me excited about saving because I could actually see how much I was saving/earning in interest…and how much I was taking out!”

What about you? Did your parents get involved in teaching you money management? Does your credit union have a youth savings program to help parents/members to start financial literacy?

Craving more information about Gen Y? Check out our white paper, Understanding the New Age Wave: Gen Y.

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