Millennials and Money: 30+ Trends Financial Marketers Need to Know

Here are over 30 facts, statistics and insights about Millennials banks and credit unions need to know to serve this essential market segment more effectively.

1. Banking providers have trouble talking to Millennials. 71% of Millennials would rather go to the dentist than listen to what banks are saying. (Source: ABA)

2. Millennials want to learn how to feel financially empowered. Nearly three quarters say they feel confident in their ability to make financial decisions, but they still want to learn more. 92% believe that being educated on personal finances is important. (Source: CSpace)

3. Millennials are so serious about their financial health that more than a third (34%) have a written financial plan, much higher than the 21% of Gen X and 18% of Baby Boomers who have done the same. However, 78% rarely or never make spreadsheets for their finances, and 35% say they’d rather vomit than make a spreadsheet to help them manage their finances. (Sources: Schwab, Varo Money)

4. Millennials aren’t getting the help and support they need from financial institutions: only 39% rely on financial advice from a professional working in the financial industry. (Source: CSpace)

5. Maybe Millennials don’t need help from real human beings. With 85% saying artificial intelligence could help them better manage their finances, banks and credit unions should use digital tools and AI to deliver the financial insights they crave. Nearly half of Millennials say they want their bank to be able to anticipate their financial needs and offer them timely advice (Sources: Varo Money, Segmint).

6. Two thirds of Millennials want digital budgeting tools from their banking provider. (Source: ABA)

7. Millennials want financial institutions to make banking less boring. Gamification would get 65% to would stay more engaged with their finances and learn more about investing, dramatically more than the 39% of Gen X and Baby Boomers who would use similar tools. (Source: Accenture)

8. It’s critical banking providers give PFM tools to Millennials. Two out of every three Millennials say they want their bank or credit union to give them software so they can keep track of transactions, payments and other financial data in real-time, then use that data to provide better recommendations — more than double of number of Gen X and Baby Boomers. (Source: Accenture)

9. Millennials are savers. More Millennials are saving than older generations, with 81% saving in some capacity vs. 74% of Gen X and 77% of Baby Boomers. (Source: Discover)

10. 58% of Millennials rarely or never plan out next month’s spending in advance, and 36% rarely or never review last month’s spending. Half had to borrow money or dip into savings to make it to the next paycheck. (Source: Varo Money)

11. Two thirds (67%) of Millennials have savings goals that they mostly meet every month. Banks and credit unions should give Millennials digital savings tools that allow them to set goals and automatically reach them. (Source: Bank of America)

12. Millennials’ top savings priorities are emergency funds (64%), retirement (49%), and buying a house (33%). Nearly half already have $15,000 or more in savings, and 16% have a whopping $100,000 or more in savings. (Source: Bank of America)

13. When it comes to saving, Millennials still have significant headwinds: three in four college graduates today will have a heavy student debt load. (Source: ABA)

14. The average graduate from the university class of 2016 has $37,172 in student loan debt, up 6% from the prior year. (Source: Student Loan Hero)

15. Student loan debt is such a burden that 70% of Millennials say that financial circumstances were a key consideration in deciding whether or not to go to college. (Source: Harvard)

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Psychographics: Inside the Millennial Mindset

16. Millennials with kids are particularly worried about finances, so consider personalized financial tools that can help Millennial families better manage their complex financial lives. When the National Endowment for Financial Education asked Millennial parents which board game best described their financial life, the top answers included:

  • Trouble (29%) – We’re financially on the edge and are constantly trying to get ahead and avoid getting bumped back.
  • Monopoly (26%) – I want to buy everything but don’t have enough money in the bank and keep running into unexpected expenses.
  • Twister (15%) – Our family’s financial obligations have us tied in knots.

17. Money causes stress in Millennial relationships. Two in five Millennial couples argue about money. How can financial institutions help mitigate the negative psychological and emotional impact money woes can inflict? (Source: The Center for the New Middle Class)

18. Millennials don’t necessarily like credit cards, with 41% saying that using a credit card is scary. 69% say they spend mostly or always on their debit card. Nevertheless, 92% have at least one credit card, and nearly a third rely on credit cards just to make ends meet and pay basic living expenses. (Sources: LendEDU, Varo Money)

19. Millennials are entrepreneurs at heart. More than half (61%) believe that owning their own business is the best way to attain job security, and half say they intend to start their own business in the next three years. (Source: The Center for Generational Kinetics)

20. If Millennials felt they had the tools and resources they needed and knew where to go for help, 74% say they would take the entrepreneurial leap. Banks and credit unions could proactively reach out Millennials to offer small business lending products and advice. (Source: The Center for Generational Kinetics)

Digital + Demographics: A Slice of Millennial Life

21. The majority of Millennials want to get married (70%) and 74% want to have children (Source: ABA). Millennials have the same hopes as previous generations, but are terrified they can’t get there: more than half have had more expenses than cash in the past quarter (Source: Varo Money).

23. Millennials spend about six hours per week on social media, less than the seven hours a week spent by Gen X. (Source: Fortune)

24. Facebook is still the top social media platform for Millennials, but it is less influential with their generation than others: 43% of Millennials say Facebook is the social media platform they use most often, compared with 61% of non-Millennials. Millennials say they use YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat as much a Facebook. (Source: Fluent)

25. Millennials haven’t abandoned email. Two thirds (68%) say that promotional emails are the most effective digital advertising medium. (Source: Fluent)

26. Millennials are willing to have banks and credit unions run personalized ads online, provided the ads are about a product or service that would help them reach their personal financial goals. More than two-thirds 67% of Millennials would welcome this type of ad, compared to only 42% of those aged 45 and older. (Source: Segmint)

More Millennial Banking Habits

27. Millennials are not the most loyal generation: 83% of Millennials would switch their bank or credit union for better rewards. Look closely at your rewards program and personalized marketing to Millennials. (Source: Kasasa)

28. Millennials don’t have less trust in their banking providers. Only 62% of Millennials describe their financial institution as trustworthy, versus 63% of Gen X and 72% of Baby Boomers. (Source: TNS Global)

29. Millennials like P2P payments. On average, about 36% of consumers use P2P. That rate nearly doubles (62%) for Millennials. (Source: Bank of America)

30. Eight out of ten (80%) of Millennials want to be able to visit a branch and would make a decision on whether or not to bank with an institution based on branch availability. (Source: SurveyMonkey)

31. Millennials still use checks. 87% of Millennials have written a check within the last three months. (Source: Vocalink)

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