Are Millennials Getting a Bum Rap When It Comes to Money?

November 22, 2016 | Becky Niiya

A new TD Ameritrade survey of more than 1,000 Americans born between 1981 and 1997 reveals that the Millennial generation may have more in common with their depression-era counterparts than their Boomer parents or grandparents.

Of the more than 1,000 Millennials surveyed: 72 percent were already saving for retirement, 80 percent had a budget and 51 percent had socked away an emergency fund.

“Millennials were in a position to learn the value of financial preparation, having grown up in the aftermath of a recession,” said Matthew Sadowsky, director of retirement and annuities at TD Ameritrade, Inc., a broker dealer subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation. “The qualities they have developed like budgeting discipline and a realistic outlook on retirement may well pave the way toward their financial future.”

While Millennials have become tight-fisted savers, they do face social pressure to spend. And they’re not just keeping up with the Joneses – they’re keeping up with everybody. Thanks to social media, Millennials feel social pressure to spend or keep up with others more so than elder generations:

  • Social media is much more likely to cause Millennials to compare themselves to others than Boomers (64 percent vs. 29 percent)
  • Nearly a quarter of Millennials feel pressure to keep up with the spending habits of their friends (24 percent)
  • Fifteen percent of Millennials admit to spending money to make a good impression