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What Would You Do With $10,000?

I received an email yesterday from Ally Bank asking me what I would do with $10,000. I clicked through to find an infographic summarizing the data collected from 1022 people over the age of 18 in the continental United States. What I found was rather interesting, but what truly peaked my interest was the way in which Ally presented the data.

Ally Asks: What Would You Do With $10,000? [INFOGRAPHIC]. Check out this story and more at Straight Talk, the official blog of Ally Bank.

The choices were save, invest, pay off debt, or spend the money. About a third said they would save it, while another fifth said they’d invest it, and yet another fifth said they would use it to pay down debt. I found it pretty surprising that over 50% of respondents said they would either save or invest it. I have to hope that those people don’t have high interest debts they need to pay off, but I’m skeptical that less than half of the respondents have no credit card debt.

Then I looked closer and marveled at the fact that they didn’t list the percentage of people who would spend the money. If you add up the percentages, you’re left with 28% of the respondents saying they’d spend the money. That makes it the second most popular answer, yet it’s swept under the rug, as if Ally is hoping you won’t notice it.

Why? Clearly Ally has an agenda: they want you to save more money and they want you to save it with them. Is the idea that by down-playing the proportion of people who said they’d spend the money and highlighting more responsible choices, they hope you’ll look more favorably on the responsible choices so when you get a windfall at some point you’ll be more likely to save with them? Or are they trying to make you feel guilty by showing you that the majority of people would do something responsible with the money, so you should too?

What do you think?

10 Responses to What Would You Do With $10,000?

  1. When I looked at the infographic without reading your post I thought, “cool we’ve finally had a paradigm shift.” However, after reading through and taking a second look, this is pretty misleading. Actually, very misleading. There are 4 choices and they put down the top choices as numbers, 1,3,4.
    Banks profit when we overspend, so I’m not sure that they wouldn’t want us overspending. I can’t think of why they would do this.

    • Gen Y Finance Journey

      Ally doesn’t offer credit cards as far as I know, so I think they’d be more inclined than traditional banks to get you to save.

  2. Nice pickup! I didn’t actually notice that it was missing from the info graphic until you pointed it out.
    I personally would invest it as that’s where the best possible returns on my money are to be found, but I think Ally definitely has an agenda by not listing all options.

    • Gen Y Finance Journey

      I always enjoy reading one step further into things than most people would. I’m probably pretty annoying to watch TV with. I’m always overanalyzing commercials, trying to figure out why the advertisers focused on a certain selling point, chose a particular actor, and so forth.

  3. They want you to save it because they can use that money to provide loans to other people and charge them interest. They give you 0.95% and they charge another 7%. It’s an easy win for them.

    • Gen Y Finance Journey

      Yep. Ally offers checking, saving, CDs, and car insurance. They want you to stash money away with them so they can afford to dole out profitable car loans.

  4. Great catch, I did not catch it my first time either. Very interesting… I, for one, think I’d invest it…once I was confident we’ve reached somewhat of a bottom in the market.

    • Gen Y Finance Journey

      I too am a big fan of investing. Sorry Ally, but even your relatively high interest rate of 0.95% is still pretty crappy!

  5. Nice catch! That’s pretty funny that they didn’t list that, though they probably didn’t for the same reason you mentioned: they want you to put it into a savings account…a savings account with them, ideally.

    • Gen Y Finance Journey

      Seriously – one of my favorite hobbies is picking apart advertisements to try and figure out what the writers were thinking. It seems pretty evident that they’re trying to drum up saving rather than spending, but I wonder more specifically what particular reaction they were going for here – whether it’s supposed to be a feel good advertisement intended to elicit a positive association with saving, or a fear advertisement to make you feel like if you’d spend the money, you’re in the minority. Yes, these are the things I spend time thinking about.

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