More than half (53%) of Millennials agree that the more money you have, the happier you are, according to new research from Mintel. That compares to 38% of Americans overall who hold that belief.
When it comes to their financial well-being overall, nearly three-quarters of Millennials consider their personal financial situation to be “healthy” (35%) or “okay” (38%), which is on par with other generations. Mintel defines “healthy” as having money left at the end of the month for some luxuries or to add to savings, while “okay” is defined as getting by, but there's not a lot left by the time basics are taken care of.
This generation is also optimistic about the future, with 51% of Millennials agreeing that they are confident in their financial future and just one-quarter (24%) considering saving for retirement to be a financial challenge (compared to 29% overall).
Despite this positive outlook, Mintel research reveals that there’s room for improvement with regard to money management. Only half (51%) of Millennials say they are confident in their financial services knowledge and are most likely to turn to family or friends (34%) for financial information. Lower on the list comes financial professionals (17%), just after using social media (20%) as a source for financial information.
“Given that Millennials are more likely to listen to friends and family, with some turning to social media for answers, financial services companies should aspire to offer information and advice as a trusted advisor, not just their primary financial institution,” said Jennifer White Boehm, associate director of financial services at Mintel. “This highlights opportunities for brands to step in with practical, educational materials to help Millennials manage their money.”
More than any other generation, Millennials consider saving for emergencies (32%) to be the biggest financial challenge they are facing. Other top financial challenges where Millennials over-index include paying day-to-day bills (28%) and paying off credit card debt (28%).
Three-quarters (74%) of Millennials agree that improvements in technology make managing finances more convenient (compared to 69% of Americans overall). What’s more, a strong minority would be interested in using artificial intelligence to conduct financial services transactions (14%) and using AI/chatbots when resolving customer service questions (13%) (compared to 9% and 7% of consumers overall). That said, old habits die hard as one in four (24%) Millennials and one in three (32%) Americans overall still prefer to visit their local branch to conduct banking transactions.
“Technology adoption within the financial services industry has escalated in recent years, but consumers still show a reliance on ‘traditional’ methods such as calling their financial services institution or visiting their local branch,” Boehm says. “The Millennial stereotype that this generation prefers ‘craft’ or ‘small-batch’ products persists even in financial services, creating an opportunity for non-traditional and smaller brands to step in and fill a need with these younger consumers.”