Millennials Are Saving More Than You Think

January 24, 2018

Millennials have been stereotyped as a generation that lacks savings or money management skills. But the data isn’t backing that up.

Sixteen percent of millennials ages 23 to 37 have $100,000 or more in savings, which is double the number of young people who had that much stowed away in 2015, a newly released survey from Bank of America shows. Nearly half—or 47 percent—have $15,000 saved, up from 33 percent in 2015.

Millennials came of age during the Great Recession and the financial crisis. They’ve faced high levels of student loan debt. But still, the survey shows that many are getting their financial lives in order, and home buying is increasingly on their to-do list.

“Despite stereotype of millennials as being foolish with money and not long-term planners,” they are behaving very responsibly when it comes to managing their money, says Andrew Plepler, global head of environmental, social, and governance at Bank of America. “They deserve more credit. Millennials are actually doing better than you—and they—might think.”

Sixty-three percent of millennials surveyed say they are saving, compared to 64 percent of Generation X and 75 percent of baby boomers. Fifty-four percent of millennials say they have a budget; 60 percent say they “feel financially secure.”

The top priorities for their savings: in case of an emergency (64%), retirement (49%), and buying a house (33%).

Still, millennials do acknowledge having plenty of financial stressors, including:

  • Not saving enough (35%)
  • My career path (24%)
  • Not planning and saving for retirement (21%)
  • Not being able to afford a home (20%)
  • Health costs (19%)

Source: “2018 Better Money Habits Millennial Report,” Bank of America (Winter 2018) and “Millennials: 1 in 6 Now Have $100,000 Socked Away,” USA Today (Jan. 23, 2018)