Survey: Millennials are worried about being able to afford the life they want

For a generation that has been through two recessions so far, it’s no secret that many millennials have been under a heavy financial burden.

According to a new survey from Morning Consult, the generation worries about their financial future at unprecedented rates compared to other age groups.

Morning Consult’s State of Consumer Banking & Payments report highlighted the challenges faced by millennials. Of the thousands of survey respondents, 45% of millennials say they are very or completely concerned about money keeping them from having the things they want in life.

A similar percentage — 46% — say finances control their lives, while 38% say they are often or always behind on their finances. Each answer is at least 10 percentage points higher than other generations of adults in the United States.

The poll has a margin of error of up to plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Millennials are described by the Pew Research Center as individuals born between 1981 and 1996. The generation follows Generation X and precedes Generation Z.

“In their prime, millennials struggle to balance the many financial responsibilities they’ve taken on and the goals they’ve set for themselves,” Morning Consult said. “Millennials’ financial well-being reflects the many challenges the generation faces: short-term and long-term financial burdens weigh on them, but to varying degrees.”

Some of that stress can come from student loan debt. Rising costs for higher education have led 14.8 million millennials to take on student debt, more than any other generation, the Education Data Initiative said in October. The generation has an average balance of $38,777 per borrower.

Others worry about affording homes in a tough buyer’s market. Despite being the most populous generation in the United States, only 47.9% of millennials owned a home in 2020, compared to 69% for Gen Xers and 77.7% for baby boomers, a reported Forbes.

And when they bought homes, the generation had a lot of buyer’s remorse. Nearly two-thirds of millennial homeowners surveyed by Bankrate in May said they regretted their purchase, with maintenance costs and high mortgage payments being the main reasons.

The thought of starting or expanding their family has also caused some financial stress as Millennials plan for their future. Fifty-five percent of millennial women have given birth, compared to 62% of Gen Xers and 64% of baby boomers when they were the same age, the Pew Research Center found in a 2020 survey.

Uncertainty about the economy was the second-highest reason millennials are waiting to have children, the first being the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a May survey by The Harris Poll.

“Millennials are suffering lifelong damage, given the severity of the Great Recession,” Mark Muro, director of policy at the Brookings Institution, told Insider at the start of the pandemic in 2020. “They are still eclipsed by it. , with new consequent burdens coming upon them.”

That’s not to say the generation isn’t trying to improve their financial situation. Morning Consult found that 69% of its millennial respondents were saving for education, while 71% were working towards buying a home. About 86% of the generation aimed to improve their credit and 80% said they were trying to eliminate their debt.

According to a new survey, millennials are more concerned about money than other adults.

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