Millennials Still Believe Stereotypes About Their Money Habits
Millennials think their generation is bad with money, but they're consistently saving, budgeting and meeting their financial goals
Millennials aren’t giving themselves enough credit when it comes to their financial habits, suggests the Bank of America 2018 Better Money Habits Millennial Report, which reported that folks who fall in the 23 to 37 year old range are better at managing their money than stereotypes suggest. Millennials are reportedly just as responsible, if not more so, than other generations when it comes to long-term financial planning. Three-quarters of millennials say that their generation overspends, and most millennials believe that their generation is bad at managing money.
The same report shows that millennials are saving, budgeting and meeting their savings goals– and that their money habits are only improving. Just three years prior in 2015, 33 percent of millennials had $15,000 or more in savings, and only about eight percent had at least $100,000 in savings. How do those numbers compare to millennials in 2018? 47 percent have at least $15,000 today. And about 16 percent have at least $100,000 in savings. Additionally, 67 percent of millennials have a savings goal and actually stick to it most months, and 73 percent have a budget and stick to it most months.
Nevertheless, these smart financial habits aren’t reflective of how millennials view themselves. In fact, millennials seem inclined to put themselves down when asked to rate their generation’s money management skills. 64 percent of millennials say their generation is not good at managing money, and 75 percent say their generation overspends compared to other generations.
You may not be surprised that millennials are quick to discredit their own financial habits. Headlines in the media are often quick to paint an unflattering picture of millennials– cashing in their retirement fund for Starbucks lattes and avocado toast. Don’t believe me? Google “millennial spending habits” and what you’ll find are articles belittling millennials with statistics like: sixty percent of millennials admit to spending more than $4 on coffee, 79 percent will splurge to eat at the hot restaurant in town and 69 percent buy clothes they don’t necessarily need (source).
But the reality is that millennials are doing just fine. Although they’re facing different challenges than previous generations (such as student loan debt, which has now exceeded $1.4 trillion), most millennials feel financially secure– at a level on par with Generation Xers and Boomers. For those still struggling with setting and meeting their financial goals, here’s what author Erin Lowry recommends: