Today is Stress Awareness Day, so it’s no surprise that for many Millennial employees, money (and financial stress) is still top of mind.
A recent Bank of America report, which analyzed the money habits of over 1,000 Millennials, found that the chief concern for respondents was that they weren’t saving enough for future expenses, like emergency funds and retirement. Worrying about career paths and whether they’d be able to afford to buy a home rounded out the top three stressors.
Additionally, three-quarters of respondents said that their generation overspends compared to other generations. Nearly two-thirds of Millennials also believe that their generation is not good at managing money. This is a trend that’s remained consistent throughout each year of the Better Money Habits Millennial Report, with stress levels of 2014 being on par with those of 2018.
But despite what you — and they — might think, Millennials’ money habits are as good as or better than other generations. The report revealed that a majority of the group are saving, budgeting, have a savings goal and feel financially secure. This age group is “young enough to start developing smarter money habits” according to Haley Ross of Bank of America Better Money Habits’ team, but that doesn’t mean they feel secure in their choices. Many doubt their financial security and the financial security of their peers. Sixty-four percent of Millennials believe that their generation does not manage money well and 75 percent feel their generation overspends in comparison to older generations.
This lack of a feeling of financial security may explain why over the past two years, Millennials were more likely than Gen Xers or Baby Boomers to ask for a raise, and 80 percent of those who asked for a pay increase got one. According to Ross, Millennials are getting their financial houses in order which may contribute to their drive to advocate for themselves at work by asking for a raise.
Job Hopping Your Way Out of Financial Stress
About one in four Millennials consider themselves to be “job-hoppers” and expect to have eight or more jobs throughout their lifetime. This isn’t always by choice; a quarter of them reported that they have been laid off at some point. In the long run, this can hurt their future savings — thirty percent of respondents say they haven’t stayed at a job enough to set up a retirement plan — and it can hurt employers’ bottom line too as they work to combat increased turnover.
Companies looking to increase hiring and retention can take a look at what Millennials feel is missing from their current job: A positive work/life balance. Offering benefits and enforcing a culture that supports a better work/life balance may be the key to Millennial employees hearts. Other perks like financial wellness programs, education savings plans and family leave benefits can help boost retention and attract top talent.
According to Ilyce Glink, CEO of the financial wellness platform Best Money Moves and author of a dozen books about money and real estate, says that while Millennials are pushing through their uncertainty over money, they’re also pushing their employers to be innovative around the issue of financial wellness.
“For a long time, companies assumed they were ‘ticking the financial wellness box’ simply by providing a 401k plan, perhaps even with an incentive like a matching program,” Glink explained. “But Millennial employees’ sophistication around financial wellness is growing and as the unemployment rate is at historic lows, companies are looking to increase benefits in this space to meet their employees’ needs.”