Millennials are stressed about money, and when they spend they want to get the best deal possible.
Those were the conclusions from two studies about the demographic and their finances. The first is from the Bank of America/USA Today on Better Money Habits Millennial Report, Fall 2015; the other from Coupons.com on Uncovering Truths of Millennial Spending.
The findings in the BofA study show that Millennials are “reasonably confident” about their money, but are also experiencing stress over the topic. That’s mostly due to factors out of their control, such as a volatile global economy, a changing job market and student debt, said Andrew Plepler, global corporate social responsibility executive.
Respondents between ages 18 and 34 as a group are decreasing their debt, managing their spending and building an emergency fund. However, 41 percent are “chronically stressed” about money, and that anxiety permeates other areas of their lives, such as emotional well-being, personal relationships and physical health and work performance.
Older Millennials worry more about money than their younger counterparts, and not putting enough money into savings, at 43 percent, is the top financial worry. Spending “more than I should” is the second biggest stressor at 30 percent, followed by facing adulthood at 28 percent.
The cost of living was a concern regardless of where the respondents lived. About 42 percent said they also they choose where they lived to be close to family, while 41 percent said their job or career opportunities influenced that decision.
And even though Millennials are reasonably confident about their money, only 17 percent said they felt they have expertise in personal finance, which placed in the eighth spot for areas of expertise. Social media ranked first at 34 percent, followed by food/cooking/dining out at 33 percent; technology at 26 percent; sports and health and wellness, each at 23 percent, and arts and entertainment and fashion and style, each at 18 percent.
By gender, women are more likely than men to prioritize being debt-free, at 70 percent versus 58 percent. Women are also more likely to spend less than they earn, have a savings account and set financial goals.
According to the Coupons.com survey, when Millennials do spend, they expect savings on-demand across all digital channels. They are also willing to share personal information in order to get more relevant savings offers. The Coupons.com Inc. study, conducted with research firm Bovitz Inc., surveyed 2,000 people across the Millennial, Gen X and Boomer generations.
Seth Marlatt, vice president of analytics and research at Coupons.com, said, “Almost 70 percent closely monitor their budgets. Millennials embrace the idea of frugality, [consider] themselves smart shoppers and take pride in educating themselves on how to get the best deals when they want them.”
And while they are savvy when it comes to social media, it isn’t an important channel that Millennials turn to for finding offers. The study found that fewer than one in five said they found deals via Facebook or some other social media channel in the past six months. Forty-two percent of Millenial deal hunters relied mostly on e-mail offers and thirty-six percent said they relied on mobile apps of retailers or companies that provide discounts. Thirty-nine percent said they relied on coupon code sites when shopping online.
For much of their shopping, 81 percent said they prefer shopping in a store, with more than 70 percent preferring a store for household goods, beauty and personal-care items. So while Millennials do their research via some technological device, they mostly head to the stores when actually making a purchase. According to the study, almost half said that for apparel purchases, they’d choose the store based on the savings they can get.
And for those looking for a price break, 77 percent said they look for digital coupons using their mobile phones, compared with 73 percent of Boomers who relied on their desktop for coupon hunting.