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Consumer Lifestyle
Published: 2 Nov 2015

How Millennials Manage Money

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Some 48% of US millennials are overwhelmed by their debt

The latest research on US millennials' (aged 21 to 34) attitudes towards finance shows that although this demographic feels burdened with debt, there is a subset that has considerable liquid wealth and is more likely to save money.

  • Debt-Laden: Nearly half (48%) of US millennials are overwhelmed by their debt and think they won't be able to repay it, compared with around a third (31%) of Americans in general, according to an October 2015 Mintel report.

    About half of US consumers have credit card debt, but this figure rises to over 70% for millennials. "There is an excellent opportunity for lenders to step in and offer services to help millennial borrowers meet their financial obligations and potentially avoid falling behind or defaulting on loans," says Robyn Kaiserman, financial services analyst at Mintel.
  • Upscale Millennials: Although the millennial demographic as a whole feels excessive debt pressure, there is a subset that has amassed far more wealth than the rest of their generation. Labelled "upscale millennials" in research done by Nielsen in October 2015, these consumers earn more than $75,000 per year and represent 27% of this cohort.

    Their average liquid wealth (income-producing assets) is $157,000 – more than 11 times that of the demographic as a whole. They are also more likely to engage in financial planning and saving schemes, presenting a significant opportunity for providers of these services.

For more on understanding this complex demographic and how best to engage them, see Strategies for Millennial Finance and Moderate Millennials: Generation Staid.

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