The article is devoted to the analysis of the impact of young people’s personal characteristics, such as financial literacy, level of optimism, risk appetite, propensity for innovation, credulity, extravagance, and propensity for illegal actions, on their likely financial behavior. The study was based on the results of an in-depth interview with 10 representatives of the young people of Nizhny Novgorod and a survey of 420 students learning economics at Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod. We employed SPSS and applied the methods of correlation regression analysis and cluster analysis to process the survey results. The paper presents an extensive review of studies on the relationship between financial behavior and financial literacy, as well as the psychological characteristics of an individual. The in-depth interview revealed the peculiarities of young people's understanding of success in the financial market and the personal characteristics ensuring it (literacy, rationality, activity, risk preference, moderate credulity). A sociological survey allowed data on the intensity of various characteristics among respondents and their variation. For the entire sample of students, we revealed a close positive correlation between the level of optimism, risk preference, and propensity for illegal actions. Using the Ward method, we divided the sample of students into three clusters, which differ in both the set of characteristics and the direction and intensity of the interrelationship between them. Directions relating to the formation of effective financial behavior were identified for each cluster of students. For the 1st cluster, it is recommended to enhance the level of basic knowledge in order to prevent any chance of falling victim to dubious schemes and losing money. For the 2nd cluster, it is necessary to focus on resistance management and enhancing the level of trust and activity. In the 3rd cluster, which includes the most literate students, it is important to prevent the undesirable relationship between risk appetite and informal actions. The results of the study may be applicable in the further development of methodological approaches to assessing the relationship between financial literacy and other personal characteristics of people, as well as the influence of these factors on their financial behavior. They can also be employed for different kinds of awareness-raising and educational work intended to develop the skills of efficient financial behavior of young people.