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This Halloween, Americans Say Bats and Pirates Represent Their Financial Mindset

Oct 12, 2016

ATLANTA, Oct. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- When asked which Halloween character best represents their financial state of mind, more than a quarter of Americans surveyed – 27 percent – chose "bat" because they would rather sleep than think about their finances, according to a National Financial Confidence Poll conducted by SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI). The same percent identified with pirates because "their pockets are full of cash," perhaps reflecting the strengthening U.S. economy.


In addition to "bat" and "pirate," people also identified with the following Halloween characters:

  • Ghost: because unexpected expenses keep making my savings disappear (19 percent).
  • Vampire: because just paying the bills seems to suck the life out of my paychecks (19 percent).
  • Skeleton: because excessive spending habits are killing me financially (8.5 percent).

When it comes to financial fears and scary financial mistakes, the survey found:

  • The most common financial fear is job loss (21 percent), followed by a medical emergency (17 percent).
  • Millennials are more likely to have a financial fear than other generations (87.5 percent have one, compared to only 82 percent of baby boomers).
  • The top scary financial mistake people identified was not saving more for retirement when they were younger (23 percent).
  • Among millennials, the most common scary mistake was running up credit card balances (18 percent).
  • Thirteen percent of millennials said their most regrettable financial mistake was spending too much on a relationship that didn't work out.

To help conquer these financial fears and take steps toward financial confidence, SunTrust offers the following tips:

  1. Recognize that your financial situation will only improve if you take action. The first step is a mental decision to do something, even if it's a small step such as signing up for your company's 401k program.

  2. Focus on positive financial goals. Instead of a "rainy day" fund, call it a confidence account. Think about how much better you will feel with $2,000 or more in savings. Also set rewards for reaching savings goals.

  3. Meet with a financial advisor. Everybody can benefit from accountability on their journey to financial confidence. Set up a meeting with a financial advisor to talk about your goals and how to get there.

  4. Calculate your net worth. While it might be scary at first sight, seeing your assets and debts on paper can quickly uncover any missteps to resolve. Then, as your assets increase and debts decrease, you can start to see yourself headed in the right direction. 

"Saving money in a confidence account for unexpected expenses is the first step to feeling like you have pockets full of cash," said Brian Ford, financial well-being executive at SunTrust Bank. "While many people are feeling better about their finances as the economy gradually improves, more than a quarter of us would still rather ignore our financial challenges than face them. At, SunTrust offers resources to help unmask whatever is haunting you financially."

The national online survey was conducted in August 2016, among 2,767 U.S. adults age 18 and older.

Dedicated to advancing financial well-being, SunTrust is leading the onUp movement to move people from financial stress to confidence.

SunTrust also shares financial tips on Facebook and Twitter. Visit and

About SunTrust Banks, Inc.
SunTrust Banks, Inc. is a purpose-driven company dedicated to Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being for the people, businesses, and communities it serves. Headquartered in Atlanta, the Company has three business segments: Consumer Banking and Private Wealth Management, Wholesale Banking, and Mortgage Banking. Its flagship subsidiary, SunTrust Bank, operates an extensive branch and ATM network throughout the high-growth Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states, along with 24-hour digital access. Certain business lines serve consumer, commercial, corporate, and institutional clients nationally. As of June 30, 2016, SunTrust had total assets of $199 billion and total deposits of $153 billion. The Company provides deposit, credit, trust, investment, mortgage, asset management, securities brokerage, and capital market services. SunTrust leads onUp, a national movement inspiring Americans to build financial confidence. Join the movement at

SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. ©2016 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SunTrust is a federally registered service mark of SunTrust Banks, Inc. 

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SOURCE SunTrust Banks, Inc.

For further information: Angela Amberg, (404) 813-1885,