US: When it comes to decisions around household finances and investments, who is calling the shots?

Cheryl Kar
September 30, 2021, 9:47 AM UTC

A new YouGov survey looks at the primary decision-makers when it comes to purchasing financial and investment services  

Financial literacy is key for managing money. While some portion of Americans  are yet to get to grips with ‘money matters’, data from YouGov Profiles, our audience intelligence tool, looks at who’s making decisions pertaining to financial purchases in US households. 

The data collected indicates that nearly half of US adults are primary decision-makers when it comes to purchasing any financial or investment services (48%). More than a quarter say they participate in making these decisions, but not alone (28%). About one in seven, however, tell us that they are not involved in any decisions related to the purchase of financial or investment services.

Delving deeper into the data shows that it’s the older population who are more likely to be sole decision-makers in their household when purchasing any financial services. This is evident especially among adults over the age of 35 years where more than half of the population in these age groups say so (35–44-year-olds: 54%; 45–54-year-olds: 54%; 55+: 54%). On the other end of the spectrum, two in five consumers between 18–24 years report that they are not involved in their household when it comes to making decisions regarding financial or investment services.  

Further, the data indicates that, generally, men outnumber women to say that they are the primary decision-maker for purchasing financial and investment services across all age groups (18–24-year-olds: 24% vs 21%; 25–34-year-olds: 52% vs 43%; 35–44-year-olds: 59% vs 48%; 45–54-year-olds: 59% vs 49%; 55+: 58% vs 51%). 

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Data is from the 29 August 2021 dataset. YouGov Profiles data is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.