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Survey responses — what jumps out at you?

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Here are the survey responses from 1,167 respondents from last week’s gender and money survey. Rob from Bankswitcher helped with the analysis, and is willing to dig into the data a little more. I personally don’t believe all of the data — look at the household income, for example — but much of it is interesting and even surprising.

Rob has offered to do a deeper analysis if there are concrete questions about the data. From taking a look below, what jumps out at you? What questions do you have?

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40 Comments on "Survey responses — what jumps out at you?"

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Lisa
Lisa
9 years 24 days ago

I agree with the strange data on personal and HHI. I think that many people are not aware of the two exact definitions, which are sometimes hard to apply if you’re still young.

For HHI, I think we needed to differentiate between people living with their parents (high HHI), whether living with roommates or siblings or significant others should count, etc.

Most PMB surveys include a definition so people know exactly how to answer. But for your first survey the data and analysis is still impressive. Way to go!

Rachel Popkin
Rachel Popkin
9 years 24 days ago

On which questions did gender have a significant impact on people’s answers? I’d like to see those results.

Jeff
Jeff
9 years 24 days ago

Why do the reported incomes surprise you? A full 1/3 or respondents have some kind of post-graduate training or schooling.

What I found most amusing was the fact that only 75% of respondents get their financial information from finance blogs. And what? A quarter of the respondents just happened to stumble across your site that day?

TT
TT
9 years 23 days ago

I’m dumbfounded by the 37% of respondents that answered “Never” to the query “I negotiate my own salary.” (Slide 10) This really stands out to me because here we are on a blog called I will teach you to be rich and a large percentage of people are remarkably passive in the one area where the majority of their personal wealth is derived.

Perhaps Ramit would consider a “How to Negotiate Your Salary” article as timely.

Lauren
Lauren
9 years 23 days ago

What the…??

Um… no offense, I think you did a basically good job of conducting a general analysis, but wouldn’t the ultimate purpose of the survey be served better if the answers were grouped by gender? I sure would like to see how man and women differed on their answers and I hope that info will be coming…

Kevin
Kevin
9 years 23 days ago

This was a gender and money survey, yet the results show no correlation between the two. In addition to the total sample pool percentages, could we see the responses by gender?

Finn Hunaus
Finn Hunaus
9 years 23 days ago
I’d like to see; How women/men answered Q20, Q21, Q23 – is there a gap between how women see themselves and money vs how men see women and money? I’m also curious how people answered “Only good debt” (Q1) answered “I have following types of debt” (Q9) (answering: What do people think good debt is?) In particular, I want see how people see student loans (answering: do people see student loans as good debt?) Likewise, I’d be interested in seeing how the student loans were distributed among those with education and income levels. (How do the loans distribute against level… Read more »
T
T
9 years 23 days ago

I’d like to see the breakdown of responses by gender. How many women vs. men felt x about budgeting, etc.

kmg
kmg
9 years 23 days ago

dittoing Rachel Popkin and Laura–there is remarkably little content on gender considering that this is described as a survey on gender and money.

acidspit
acidspit
9 years 23 days ago

I agree with Kevin above. You gathered a bunch of information that could be analyzed in a number of different ways and gave us the simplest and most generally grouped data. Could you please present the same data in a number of different ways? I think Finn Hunaus above is on the right track.

cmadler
9 years 23 days ago

Aside from items which have already been mentioned, given the age breakdown of respondents (11% over age 38), I though it was interesting that 25% plan to rely on Social Security for retirement.

Teeves
9 years 23 days ago

I’d also like to see the differences between genders since this survey was supposedly geared toward that issue. However, the all-inclusive numbers are still interesting.

eROCK
eROCK
9 years 23 days ago

I’ll second TT’s thoughts on Slide 10 (salary negotiation). While I have negotiated my salary in both my post-college careers, I still don’t feel comfortable doing so and I always feel like I under-negotiate.

MyNameIsMatt
9 years 23 days ago

TT (commenter #4), I don’t see that as very surprising seeing how young of an audience this blog has. Most people who are young haven’t had much of an opportunity to negotiate compensation yet. Also, it’s not always advantageous to do so at a young age where just having more experience can be more important than an extra thousand or two annually. That and maybe they’ve just been lucky enough to work for companies that pay fair wages, you always hope this is the case.

rob rubin
9 years 23 days ago

I’ll update the slides to reflect responses by gender.

Courtney
Courtney
9 years 23 days ago

I think an important omission from the survey was whether the respondents are parents. I don’t have children, but as I was taking the survey, I remember thinking that several of my answers would have been markedly different if I was a parent.

Sput
Sput
9 years 23 days ago

In addition to ditto-ing the breakout by gender that others have mentioned, what about breaking it out by age? Do people in their 20s answer differently than those in their 40s?

Brandon Mitchell
Brandon Mitchell
9 years 23 days ago
I suspect a general lack of self-awareness either due to conceit or ignorance, based on the over-confidence of the respondents. It interests me that 73% report being unconcerned with their level of debt, the majority of respondents believe they handle financial matters at least “OK” and 75% *never* ignore financially unpleasant information. We seem to consist primarily of 20-something college graduates who are confident in financial matters, believe we have control over our debt and budget and are concerned with retirement, investing and personal development. That sounds like the target demographic Ramit is after, but one wonders whether an outside… Read more »
Kibrika
Kibrika
9 years 23 days ago

I’m wondering wether there were some interesting comments on the “other” responses:)
Also, I feel that both women and men are discouraged from talking about money – how was I to answer that tricky question about women being discouraged? “Yes they are, as are men too” or “no, they aren’t any more than men are”?

Molly Bennett
9 years 23 days ago
I didn’t find the household income numbers that surprising, but perhaps that’s because it’s inline with my household’s income. I do agree with what Lisa said, above, that a lot of people probably don’t know how to calculate household income if they live with relatives, roommates, etc. I know I didn’t when I was in my early 20s. I would also like to see the results broken down by gender for each question since this was a survey about gender and money. I think Finn Hunaus has the right idea. The biggest surprise to me was that 30% of people… Read more »
sarah
sarah
9 years 23 days ago
I’d be interested in comparing income and education levels with the answers given in the charity question and the financial priorities question. It kind of astounds me that 30% of the respondents donate neither time nor money to charity. That’s over 300 people! Just imagine if those people all gave $10 to something today. $3000 is a lot of money! Or if all of those people donated blood? The Research group Independent Sector calculates that 1 volunteer hour is worth $18.77, as of 2006. (source) If those 300 people volunteered for 4 hours this month (one half-Saturday), that would be… Read more »
Daiko
Daiko
9 years 23 days ago

Actually, before discounting the numbers for household income and personal income, I would wonder if they say something about who is frequenting this type of site. Is it possible that the people most likely to read this site are people with household income that might already classify them as rich? Also, the rest of the numbers make a pretty nice bell curve. I wonder if you had continued the household earnings breakdown into the upper reaches it might have continued as a bell?

Whitney
Whitney
9 years 23 days ago

What jumps out at me? Either you have a very, VERY savvy readership or a WHOLE LOT of people are LYING.

Sara
Sara
9 years 23 days ago
Why are people so shocked that the responses indicate a young, financially savvy readership? This IS a financial blog written by a 25 year old, geared towards a similar audience. It’s not exactly a sample of the average US population. Plus people seemed honest about time/money donated to charity and concern over negotiating salary, which would indicate they were honest in most answers. I myself was surprised at the income levels, with the same percentage making over 100K as making under 20K, and would be interested in seeing a breakdown of income levels versus age and education to see how… Read more »
guinness416
guinness416
9 years 23 days ago

The incomes indicated (and I’m also on the highest end for both personal and household) seem to bear out what I’ve often noticed in your comments – a lot of readers who aren’t the college-age wannabe-entrepreneurs you might assume – fully 70% of us are older than 25, apparently. But also, aren’t colleges heading back at the moment? Maybe that keeps the students off the site right now.

I’d also be interested in seeing the results by gender. I’m certainly one woman whose peers are very financially savvy women, the “CFOs” of their households more often than not.

Jon
9 years 23 days ago

Women do make less than men for the same job, generally speaking. This has been observed by social studies.

Teeves
Teeves
9 years 23 days ago

Hey, Rob, thanks for volunteering your time to sort through the data. I’m sure everyone else here appreciates it as well.

Minimum Wage
Minimum Wage
9 years 23 days ago

TT – I have a minimum wage job. I’ve never heard of negotiating pay for a minimum wage job. It’s take it or leave it, no negotiation!

Minimum Wage
Minimum Wage
9 years 23 days ago

I suspect the 4% who feel overwhelmed and the 4$ who feel depressed are nearly identical groups. I also suspect that the union of the two groups comprises a very interesting group.

Richard
Richard
9 years 22 days ago
I just don’t believe this is an accurate survey. Something is going on here. But here’s a couple of comments… – Regarding job negotiation… I’d be that around that percentage of jobs are actually non-negotiable. Gov’t jobs for example are hard to negotiate as are many entry level jobs. I wonder if some of the household income stats are including their parent’s income? A larger percentage of people in the 25-30 year old category are still living at home these days. – I’m particularly surprised that there are so many young rich people reading this blog but 41% have student… Read more »
Nicole
Nicole
9 years 22 days ago

RE: salary negotiation – I thought that was a stupid question, honestly. I’m a stay at home mom. Nope, I never negotiate my income. It would be pointless. And this is something that bothered me about this survey altogether – you have to have your own personal income in order to want to do more with your money?

Nicole
Nicole
9 years 22 days ago

I didn’t finish my thought….I thought it was silly that a gender and money survey didn’t take into account that at least some portion of women will choose to live on one income in order to raise kids. So this was a gender and money survey aimed only at those who work out of the home…not really a gender and money survey!

Don Luis
Don Luis
9 years 22 days ago
This is really super cool stuff. Congrats on this achievement. First thing I’d do is add the Medians to all the demographics. Simply gives you a more tangible number for each parameter to work with, especially when you want to compare your numbers against other research. A few comments: > Q14 (slide 20): wow, Robert Kyosaki couldn’t agree more with this slide, if it weren’t for his “rich dad” that wasn’t actually his biological dad. No wonder, wealth, in general just grows gradually throughout generations. We seem to be copying what our parents did (or avoid what they did wrong)… Read more »
styleosophy
9 years 22 days ago
I took the survey and was galled by question #26, “do you women are expected to buy clothes, makeup, etc.”? I didn’t understand how this was relevant by way that your asked both males and females to participate in the survey. Who was that question for? And why didn’t you ask one specifically geared towards men-example: do we expect men to buy NFL licensed merchandise now that it’s football season? Do we expect men to drop everything at the site of a tech store? My point is, what does such a stereotypical question help to answer in regards to women… Read more »
Andrea
Andrea
9 years 22 days ago

Keep up the great work! I love your blog.

I’m also a stay at home mom so I do not draw a traditional salary so that can skew that portion of the survey as well. Plus- maybe several stay at home moms filled out the survey as they have more time than others- or more students filled out the survey due to having more time. Just pointing out other factors in play…

Sarah
Sarah
9 years 22 days ago
Just wanted to comment that I took the survey and answered the household income question as if it only applied to myself ($46,000) since I don’t really pool my income with my housemates, although we do share some expenses. If I had counted the income of all of my housemates, we would have a household income of almost $300,000, to give you an idea of what a huge difference it would make if I had answered the question the other way. And if you want to know why I have five housemates and a decent salary… well, it’s an expensive… Read more »
Molly
9 years 21 days ago
styleosophy: I thought the question about if we thought women were expected to purchase make-up, purses, clothes, etc. was a good one to ask. I don’t think Ramit asked because he was suggesting that women have to do these things. The reality is that a lot of women feel that they need to do those things in order to be successful in business. When there are already salary disparities between men and women, more out-of-pocket expenses for women widens the gap even further. It also means that those women have less money to invest because it is being spent on… Read more »
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[…] to the 35+ comments on the last post, Rob from BankSwitcher (”Switching banks is hard…we make it […]

styleosophy
9 years 21 days ago

molly: taken from your perspective, you have given question #26 a different meaning to me…thank you. And I like your blog!

Susan
Susan
9 years 20 days ago

TT – I never negotiate my salary as I work for the federal government and am paid on the government pay scale. These are not negotiable. There are many reasons people are not able to negotiate their salaries, as others have mentioned above.

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