Millennials and Money: What the Numbers Reveal About Gen Y’s Spending and Investing Habits

Millennials are breaking all the rules about money. They’re spending too much on leisure activities, they’re not saving enough, they don’t know how to invest, and they’re financially irresponsible. These are just some of the many opinions people have about millennials. Are they correct in these assumptions?

Millennials, also called Generation Y, are people who were born between 1981 and 1996. They’re also referred to as digital natives, having grown up during the rise of the internet and other technological developments. But instead of this being a good thing, it adds salt to injury—older generations think their world revolves around what selfie would make them look good on their social media apps.


How Millennials Are Different From Baby Boomers

It’s understandable why previous generations think that way about millennials. Baby boomers adhere to traditional processes and strict timelines (e.g., face-to-face meetings, staying in their company for years). Millennials, on the other hand, use modern technology to help them become more efficient. Baby boomers tend to call this “cutting corners,” but to millennials, it’s innovation.

When it comes to financial mindset and behavior, the difference is just as apparent. According to a recent report from Bank of America, 75% of millennials admit that they tend to overspend as compared to other generations, and 64% say their age group is terrible at managing money. It’s no surprise that older generations call Gen Y the “broke millennials.”

But what people don’t see beyond the image Gen Y exudes is that 63% of millennials are saving, and 59% feel financially secure. The number shows they’re just as good (or better) in handling their finances as the older generations, but they’re not getting enough credit for it.

Beyond the stereotypes and judgments, millennials continue to challenge the status quo concerning their spending behaviors and financial habits. The infographic below helps illustrate what the numbers reveal about how Gen Y handles their money.

Where Millennials’ Money Go

Let’s say you buy your usual P180.00 cup of coffee 12 times a month; that means you’re spending P2,160.00 on coffee alone each month. Add to that your frequent Grab expenses, subscription fees to video and music streaming sites, food take-outs, and other luxuries. With the fast-paced world you live in, spending more on comfort and convenience seems like second nature.

But what people don’t see is how millennials juggle various roles, from taking care of their aging parents to building their careers, and keeping up with the increasing cost of living. This is most likely why spending on experiences and entertainment like traveling and going to the cinema give them instant gratification.

With millennials being put under the microscope and called out for every action, they work twice as hard to prove that they’re more than the “woke” and a materialistic generation older people appear to believe.


Millennials’ Investment Practices

Statistical data from various studies and researches illustrate that millennials’ financial decisions are hit or miss. They spend more on unnecessary costs and experiences like traveling and attending concerts. But despite this and the common public perception, they also prepare for their retirement. Millennials struggle to stay afloat due to debt, which is why saving for their future is one of their top priorities.

Contrary to what older generations think, Gen Yers are good financial planners, although they shy away from putting their money in high-risk, high-growth strategies. They’re taking valuable steps in securing their future, albeit through safer, low-risk investments.

On the other hand, 7 in 10 millennials stress that they have other financial priorities to focus on and debt to deal with, which hinders them from investing. Some of them also prioritize saving cash for a down payment on home ownership above investing.

A good number of millennials do make smart financial moves, regardless of their occasional money mishaps. Some millennials are taking the initiative to play their cards right by investing in stocks, learning about insurance policies, and even delving into the cryptocurrency market.


Millennials’ Money Habits

The amount of debt this generation carries is a jarring reminder that before you can reach your goals, you’d have to take on various loans and hustle to survive. Millennials with student loans don’t have it easy, but there are ways to alleviate the burden.

As years pass by, Gen Yers will learn how to handle their finances better. They’ll know the right time to get a loan, which kinds of loans will help them build a solid credit history, and ultimately achieve their long-term financial goals.  Of course, this will come to their advantage as long as they pay the appropriate fees and monthly payments on time.

Another notable financial issue that is prevalent among this generation is credit card debt. Leaving the house without cash on hand is no longer a problem as long as they can swipe a card to check out. Its convenience largely contributes to their impulse purchases.

They’re also well-aware of their occasional financial blunders, which serves as a great motivator to encourage them to sort out their finances while they’re still young. With 54% of millennials setting up a better budgeting system, that’s not a bad number to begin with.


Millennials and Their Money

Indeed, millennials are challenging the status quo. But, defining people by their age is an oversimplification. Not all Baby Boomers lived like “hippies.” It goes the same for millennials—not all Gen Yers live by the “YOLO” philosophy.

Millennials’ money management strategies are being continually shaped by their financial choices. Getting out of debt while living paycheck-to-paycheck doesn’t make it easier. Despite the judgment and other generations’ opinion about millennials, their resilience and resourcefulness keep them afloat. They don’t shy away from living in the moment, but that doesn’t mean they only “do it for the ‘gram.” They care more about their future than Instagram ‘likes.’

Millennials know how essential it is to have a reliable money management system, which is why they’re constantly finding ways to make ends meet and prepare for their future to reach financial stability.

Living within your means, setting up a budget system, investing for your future, and taking control over your money matters are good financial practices to observe while you’re young. Money may not buy happiness, but it secures your future.

Let your credit cards rest for the meantime. You can run to Cashalo if you ever find yourself short on cash. Cashalo extends a helping hand with low-interest online lending in the Philippines. You can apply for various loan options to help cover for your necessities and make ends meet.

About Cashalo

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