A new Bank of America/USA TODAY Better
Money Habits Millennial Report released today finds that
while 84 percent of millennials are confident in their ability to manage
their finances, 41 percent are “chronically stressed” about money.
Furthermore, money stress tends to permeate all areas of their lives:
Sixty-five percent report that anxiety about money affects their
Nearly half (49 percent) say it affects their personal relationships.
More than half (55 percent) say their leisure activities/interests are
Money stress also affects physical health (42 percent) and work
performance (22 percent).
Only one-third (34 percent) of millennials feel “content” about their
finances, while many are “anxious” (27 percent) and “overwhelmed” (22
percent). Still, despite these negative emotions, millennials haven’t
necessarily lost confidence in their ability to manage money and say
they feel confident because they know how to budget and manage their
finances, have good spending habits and have savings.
Financial fitness seems to be a priority for this generation, even as
much as physical fitness. Millennials spend the same amount of time
tending to personal finance as they do working out: Roughly two in five
spend an average of three hours per week both exercising and working on
their finances. However, they aren’t equally satisfied with the payoff:
Many more report being satisfied with their physical fitness than with
their financial fitness (61 percent vs. 40 percent).
“Even though millennials are confident about money and focused on their
finances, they’re still experiencing a great deal of stress. That’s due
in part to factors out of their control – a volatile global economy, a
changing job market and, to some extent, the student debt they’ve taken
on,” said Andrew Plepler, Global Corporate Social Responsibility
executive, Bank of America. “Amid the uncertainty, it’s important to
focus on things they can control, such as their level of financial
knowledge and awareness. This survey indicates there may be room for
more effective financial management efforts that make it easier for
millennials to take greater control of their finances, and hopefully
alleviate some of the stress they feel.”
The learning gap is apparent. While only 17 percent feel they have a
great deal of experience or knowledge in personal finance, many more say
they feel experienced in other, more fun topics:
Thirty-four percent feel they have expertise in social media.
Thirty-three percent feel very knowledgeable about food/dining out.
Twenty-three percent feel they have expertise in health and wellness.
“The survey’s findings give relevant insight into how millennials feel
when it comes to managing their finances. While they are increasingly
confident, they are still faced with complex financial decisions that
they are proactively learning to navigate,” said Dave Callaway, editor
in chief of USA TODAY. “The results make it clear that financial health
is a fundamental issue and area of concern for millennials. We hope to
educate and shine a light on this important topic through our
partnership with Bank of America on this research.”
Additional report findings:
Millennials worry about cost of living, ability to save
Cost of living is a concern for a majority (61 percent) of
millennials, and 58 percent are concerned about their ability to save
while they live where they do.
While cost of living tops the list of concerns millennials have about
where they live, only 28 percent said financial reasons were a
motivating factor in choosing where to live.
Being close to family (42 percent) and career opportunities (41
percent) trump other factors driving millennial decisions on where to
- Living near family is especially important for rural millennials (54
percent) vs. suburban (39 percent) and urban (40 percent).
Women are more likely than men to determine where they live based on a
relationship, partner or spouse (27 percent vs. 22 percent).
Women prioritize financial future more than men – but feel more stress
Women and men feel equally confident about managing their personal
finances; however, women tend to be more stressed when it comes to
spending more than they should (34 percent vs. 26 percent), facing
adulthood (34 percent vs. 23 percent) and carrying student loan debt
(31 percent vs. 22 percent).
Men feel more stressed than women about having enough money to someday
have a family (25 percent vs. 19 percent).
Women are more likely than men to prioritize being debt-free (70
percent vs. 58 percent), having a savings account (63 percent vs. 47
percent) and setting financial goals (52 percent vs. 40 percent).
of America wants to help all young adults looking to boost their
financial wellness with its free online financial education resource BetterMoneyHabits.com,
powered in partnership with education innovator Khan
Academy. Inspired by Khan Academy’s modern approach to learning, the
platform provides engaging and easy-to-understand content on a wide
range of personal finance topics. In addition to content geared toward
millennials, as well as parents, new material is launching on the
website this fall offering tailored advice to those living paycheck to
This is the third poll of millennials by Bank of America Better Money
Habits and USA TODAY. The full report can be found at www.bettermoneyhabits.com/reports.
About the Bank of America/USA TODAY Better Money Habits Millennial Report
follow-up research to November 2014 and April 2015 reports on
millennials’ financial habits, Bank of America and USA TODAY
commissioned a survey of 1,320 millennials to explore millennials’
challenges, behaviors and attitudes related to achieving financial
wellness. The survey was conducted online during the period of August
6–24, 2015 by GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communication, using
GfK’s KnowledgePanel®, a statistically representative sample
source used to yield results that are projectable to the American
population. To qualify, millennial respondents had to be 18 to 34 years
old. The margin of sampling error for national data is +/- 3.2
percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. Margin of error
for the Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. DMA
oversamples is slightly higher.
About Better Money Habits
Bank of America has made a substantial
commitment to address the need for better financial literacy by
partnering with Khan Academy – a nonprofit with the mission of providing
a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Through this
partnership, Better Money Habits has tapped into a different way to help
people learn about money. It's about creating a customizable experience
that breaks down concepts and provides practical, actionable steps to
strengthen the connection between financial knowledge and behavior.
Since the site launched in 2013, we’ve connected millions of people to
information to help them make more confident financial decisions. To
learn more, visit BetterMoneyHabits.com.
About Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's leading
financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and
middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of
banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk
management products and services. The company provides unmatched
convenience in the United States, serving approximately 48 million
consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,800
retail financial centers, approximately 16,000 ATMs, and award-winning
online banking with 31 million active users and approximately 18 million
mobile users. Bank of America is among the world's leading wealth
management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment
banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving
corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the
world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately
3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative,
easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients
through operations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S.
Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and more than 35 countries. Bank of America
Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
About USA TODAY
Founded in 1982, USA TODAY delivers high-quality,
engaging content through unique visual storytelling across all
platforms. An innovator of news and information, USA TODAY reflects the
pulse of the nation and serves as the host of the American conversation
— today, tomorrow, and for decades to follow. USA TODAY is the nation’s
number one newspaper. USA TODAY's award winning news site reaches more
than 50M unique visitors a month across its digital platforms with more
than 20M application downloads. USA TODAY is owned by Gannett Co., Inc.
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