Does Having a College Degree Make You a Better Saver?

Did you know that people with a college degree focus more on saving than those without? In a recent survey by Bankrate, 20% of adults with a college degree reported saving as their top financial priority, compared to only 15% of those with just a high school degree or less. Those without a degree were also more likely to be concerned about just making ends meet and staying current with bills (47% versus 28%).

Age can also make a difference. Younger adults between the ages of 18 and 29 were more likely to pick savings as a top priority than older adults (29% versus 17%). Part of the explanation for this wide discrepancy may be that older adults may have homes, children and other financial obligations that require more of their current income to support.

The study found that while people feel more positive about their overall financial situation these days, staying current on bills and getting out of debt still remain the top priorities. Overall, 38% cited bill paying as their top priority, and another 21% were more concerned with getting out of debt. As shown in the chart below, this varies greatly by income level with 49% of those in the lowest income group concentrating on just staying afloat financially.

Financial goals by income and education

Education or income level Staying current on bills Paying down debt Saving Helping family/friends Something Else Don’t Know
College graduate 28% 28% 20% 9% 7% 7%
Some college 34% 22% 18% 13% 7% 5%
High school or less 47% 14% 15% 7% 7% 10%
$75k+ 22% 30% 26% 11% 7% 3%
$50k-$74.9k 36% 31% 17% 9% 4% 4%
$30k-$49.9k 42% 18% 16% 12% 7% 6%
Under $30k 46% 14% 11% 9% 8% 12%

Source: Bankrate

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