Jan 23, 2018

Millennials believe their own financial stereotypes. They're wrong.

The majority of millennials regularly set savings goals. Photo: Education Images / UIG via Getty Images

Millennials are exercising good money habits as diligently as the generations of the past by almost every metric, per a new Bank of America report.

The big picture: Despite doomsday forecasts for millennials' financial future, members of America's largest generation — defined as those ages 23 to 37 in 2017 for the purposes of this report — are saving and budgeting at the same, or higher, rates as their parents and grandparents.

Savings and budgets
  • 59% of millennials feel financially secure, as opposed to 54% of Generation X and 63% of baby boomers.
  • 63% save money, compared to 64% of Gen-Xers and 75% of baby boomers. And 47% have $15,000 or more saved.
  • 54% are budgeting, compared to 54% of Gen-Xers and 57% of baby boomers. And 73% consistently stick to a monthly budget.
  • 57% have a savings goal, a rate much higher than the 42% of Gen-Xers and baby boomers who have such goals.
  • Their top savings priorities are emergency funds (64%), retirement (49%) and to buy a house (33%).
Financial stressors
  • Millennials believe negative stereotypes about their generation's ability to save money and plan for the future.
    • 73% say their generation "overspends on unnecessary indulgences."
    • 75% say they "overspend compared to other generations."
    • 64% say their generation "is not good at managing money," despite maintaining the same rates of saving and budgeting as older Americans.
  • 35% are worried they're not saving enough.
  • 21% fear they'll be ill-prepared for retirement.
  • 20% are concerned about being able to afford a house.
  • 17% are burdened by student loans.
Future of work
  • Millennials are more likely to ask for raises than their parents or grandparents, 80% of those who ask for raises get them.
  • 46% asked for a raise in the last two years, compared to 36% of Gen-Xers and 39% of baby boomers who did the same.
  • 26% say they are part of the gig economy, and that ticks up to 34% when considering just younger millennials.
  • 23% expect to work eight or more jobs throughout the course of their careers.

Methodology: Bank of America surveyed 1,500 respondents, ages 18 to 71, in English and Spanish.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,410,228 — Total deaths: 345,105 — Total recoveries — 2,169,005Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,643,499 — Total deaths: 97,722 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Japan's economy minister outlined plans on Monday to end the nationwide state of emergency as the number of new novel coronavirus cases continues to decline to fewer than 50 a day, per Bloomberg. Japan has reported 16,550 cases and 820 deaths.

By the numbers: Over 5.4 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.1 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 13.7 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,800 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.