Written By: Stephen A. Atlas, Jialing Lu, P. Dorin Micu, & Nilton Porto
This paper investigates associations between confidence about financial knowledge and two outcome variables, financial behaviors and financial satisfaction. On one hand, subjective financial knowledge (confidence) is necessary to make proactive decisions, yet overconfidence has been associated with a range of negative financial behaviors and outcomes. Both types of objective and subjective knowledge may be related to critical financial behaviors and choices such as credit card usage which in turn may be associated with financial satisfaction, an important component of consumer wellbeing. This paper analyzes data from the 2015 National Financial Capability Study to examine how financial knowledge confidence relates to credit card behaviors and financial satisfaction. We use mediation and floodlight analyses to uncover relevant relationships between variables of interest. We find evidence that confidence is associated with healthy credit card use that contributes to financial satisfaction. We also observe strong interactions with knowledge to find that confidence is more strongly associated with credit card use and overall financial satisfaction as knowledge increases. Findings from this study can help financial educators and advisors to deliver the right mix of financial knowledge to better financial choices and behaviors.