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Personal Finance For Millennials [NEW]

Considering that last point, LendEDU conducted a survey of 1,000 American millennials to better understand how the generation feels about their personal finances and the concept of wealth, in general.

Personal Finance For Millennials


On average, we found that millennials have monthly expenses that add up to $3,308, which includes housing and non-housing expenses. Specifically, an average of $1,476 is spent per month on housing expenses like a mortgage or rent payment, while $1,832 is dispensed on all other expenses.

On the contrary, 67 percent of millennials in the low income bracket indicated they are spending within their means, with only 25 percent stating it was comfortably within and 42 percent barely within their expenses.

One would think that millennial consumers in the low income bracket would be the most watchful of their spending as they have little to no leeway for outpacing their bank account. Conversely, wealthier millennials can better afford breaking the bank every once in a while. However, the data from this survey displayed the opposite.

As depicted by the visual above, millennials in the low income bracket have a considerably different view of what it means to be wealthy when compared to their counterparts in the upper bracket. For example, 45 percent of low income millennials believe an annual income between $75,000 and $100,000 is considered wealthy, while only 10 percent of high income individuals think the same.

Further, 16 percent of millennial respondents in the high income bracket believed being wealthy means earning between $501,000 and $999,999 per year, while only 4 percent of lower bracket millennials answered similarly.

There was one notable trend that developed between income brackets. As the income brackets moved lower, millennials were more likely to perceive celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, LeBron James, and Dr. Dre as wealthy. Contrarily, as the income brackets moved up, respondents more strongly associated tycoons like Bezos and Warren Buffett with wealth, and the votes were taken away from Oprah, LeBron, and Dr. Dre.

First, we wanted to find out more about the living situation for millennials. Overall, 40 percent of millennials are currently renting an apartment or house, while 49 percent own an apartment or house, which includes paying a mortgage. Four percent of all respondents lived at home with their parents or guardians and also pay rent, while five percent live at home without paying rent.

When the results were separated by income brackets, low income millennials were far more likely to rent an apartment or house, whereas high income millennials more frequently owned an apartment or house. Specifically, 60 percent of millennials in the lower bracket rented, while 25 percent in the upper bracket rented. Meanwhile, 27 percent of millennials in the low income bracket owned an apartment or house, while 63 percent of respondents in the highest bracket owned a property.

We took this portion of the survey a step further by asking those millennials that live at home if they are doing it by choice or due to financial limitations; 35 percent pointed to the former, while 60 percent indicated the latter.

When broken down by income level, 70 percent of low income millennials were at home due to financial constraints, while 21 percent were doing it by choice. On the contrary, 50 percent of high income millennials were living at home due to their finances, while 47 percent were doing it because they wanted to.

Overall, the results of these two questions bode decently well for millennials and homeownership. According to the Urban Institute, when Gen Xers were between the ages of 25 and 34, 45 percent owned homes, while 45 percent of Baby Boomers at that age owned property. Our figure pegs millennial homeownership at 49 percent, a positive indicator for the future financial health of not only the generation, but the entire U.S. economy.

Though nearly every single segment produced net positive results to this question, financial confidence should be a lot stronger than just 57 percent of respondents believing their children would be wealthier than themselves. In one bright spot, 69 percent of high income millennials thought that they would become wealthier than their parents, while only 17 percent answered the opposite.

We had two questions that looked to address this notion. The results from question 12 found that 12 percent of millennials do not plan on having children. We then asked this 12 percent if the reason for not having children was due to financial hardships.

I do not intend to have children, and finances are a large part of that decision. I know that the cost of higher education continues to rise and I do not believe it would be fair for me to have children knowing that I would put them in a situation where they could end up paying half a million dollars for their education.

So, personal finances are certainly having a considerable impact on millennials not having children, but it could be a lot worse. It is also important to remember that this a very specific sub-section of millennial respondents, and really, only 12 percent of 1,000 millennials said they had no plans to have children.

Managing your finances is a challenge no matter what generation you are from. But, millennials have certainly had it tough due to rising student loan debt and living through two recessions in a little over 10 years.

Most millennials have student loan debt that requires monthly payments of a few hundred dollars. By refinancing their student loans, they may be able to qualify for a lower student loan interest rate that will help them save money over the long run. Student loans can be refinanced more than once if it will again lead to even more favorable repayment terms than before.

In total, 1,000 American millennials were surveyed for this particular poll. All respondents fell within the ages of 23 and 38, the millennial age range according to Pew. Additionally, a quota was used to ensure we received a near even split of millennials between three income brackets. 340 millennials in the high income bracket, which is an individual annual income of $100,000 or more were surveyed. 330 millennials in the middle income bracket, which is an individual annual income between $50,000 and $99,999, were surveyed. Finally, 330 millennials in the lower income bracket, which is an individual annual income of $49,999 or less, were surveyed. The income brackets are pre-established parameters set by Pollfish.

A Roth IRA is a great option for millennials to start a retirement fund because once you put money into it; any earnings are tax free. As long as you follow the withdraw rules you will not have to pay taxes on withdraws during your retirement. Even though you are roughly 40 years away from retirement, the earlier you start saving the better off you will be thanks to the magic of compounding interest.

Something else to consider; millennials have more digital assets than older generations. Although this might seem silly, a part of your will may be determining what you want done with your online presence. You could want your Facebook page to be memorialized or you want to designate a relative who will have access to your accounts. Your social presence may be something you want to incorporate into your will.

After making her first million on Wall St., 27-year-old Vivian Tu (@yourrichbff on TikTok) realized that even the highest-earning traders didn't have basic personal finance skills that would help them manage long-lasting wealth.

"Personal finance, for a long time, has been very pale and very male," Tu shared with Insider when asked why traditional personal finance tips just aren't hitting with millennials and Gen Zers. Tu makes it a point to talk to her followers like she's their "rich best friend," with relatable stories and perspectives that young people relate to.

In the same vein as the advice to get a second job, young people hate being told to stop eating out to save money. While some millennials and Gen Zers do cut down on eating out, they still prefer keeping a realistic amount of money set aside to eat out with their friends and simply enjoy their lives.

The way to make this new site resonate with younger readers and provide personal finance guidance as a unique value proposition is by breaking down content for readers according to major life events, Lambert said.

Meanwhile, Gen Z, the most racially and ethnically diverse generation, may also face a similar fate as millennials when it comes to debt. The generation faces the biggest increases in student loan debt, personal loans and mortgage balances year after year, according to a report by

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"You have a lot of millennials who have actually saved into their 401(k) plans and they don't realize it," said Jacqueline Schadeck, a CFP based in Atlanta. "So that has actually helped a lot of people."

Currently, Social Security considers full retirement to be age 67 for those born after 1960, but those who wait until after age 70 to draw on their benefits get a larger monthly amount. Waiting until then to start retirement still gives the oldest millennials three decades to save and plan.


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