I’m a millennial (born between early 1980’s to early 2000’s), the generation developing a reputation of being lazy, technology dependent and pop-culture obsessed. Embarrassingly most of my peers admit to knowing more about food, music and sports than they do about money and their own finances. What’s worse is many young adults, especially in Los Angeles, are increasingly stressed about money and don’t know what to do about it.
75% of millennials living in Los Angeles worry about their finances “often” or at least “sometimes” while 39% are “chronically stressed” about money according to a recent USA Today and Bank of America survey. Respondents indicated several factors like the lack of job opportunities, not making enough money and failure to save were all obstacles to achieving financial stability. Many millennials are struggling to pay off student loan debt which has increased substantially the past decade, while over the same period wage growth has been stagnate.
Their top financial priorities
70% said being debt free was a top priority
63% said having an emergency savings fund was a top priority
62% said spending less than they earn was a top priority
On the brighter side 44% of millennials said they “have at least a months worth of living expenses saved up”. While that’s a good start there’s plenty of room for improvement. Unfortunately millennials’ financial preparedness doesn’t improve much outside of Los Angeles. Across the nation only 17% of millennials surveyed felt they had “expertise in personal finance” compared with 26% who said they have “expertise in technology”.
The good news is millennials still have time to get back on track and develop financial discipline for a better tomorrow. Advancements in financial apps, access to free resources and next generation firms like 1080 Financial Group are making it easier for millennials to plan and invest for their future.