Millennial financial stress statistics 2019. Here’s how student loans, housing costs and savings are affecting the millennial generation.

Based on the most recent data, Millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce, surpassing both Baby Boomers and Generation X. Burdened with student loan debt, high costs of living and savings struggles, Millennials are also some of the most financially stressed employees.

Nearly two-thirds of Millennials feel like they are doing worse financially compared to their parents’ generation and 76 percent find it stressful dealing with their financial situation — and this stress is only getting worse over time. 

Millennials and Student Loan Debt

The U.S. is dealing with a student loan debt crisis, with total debt reaching nearly $1.6 trillion. Millennials are dealing with the brunt of this crisis — 29.1 million student loan borrowers are under the age of 39, more than any other generation. 

According to research from PwC, nearly half of Millennials have student loans and 80 percent say their debt has a moderate or significant effect on their other financial goals. When asked what benefits they would like to see from employers, more than a third cited a student loan repayment benefit. 

In another survey, Millennials admit to putting off building an emergency fund, saving for retirement, buying a home and getting married due to student loan debt. 

Housing Costs and Millennial Financial Stress

In addition to — and in conjunction with — student loan debt, millennials face lower incomes and higher housing costs than the generations before them, making the rising costs of living a major financial stressor. Many Millennials graduated during a recession, and they still make 20 percent less than Baby Boomers did at the same stage of life. 

Only 36 percent of Millennials say that their compensation is keeping up with the rising cost of their living expenses, a number that is even lower for Millennial women. Lower incomes and higher living costs make it difficult for this generation to maintain a comfortable standard of living while paying off debt and attempting to save for the future. 

Millennials Have Inadequate Savings

Not having enough savings for unexpected expenses is one of the top concerns for Millennials, with 62 percent saying they are most financially stressed about their lack of emergency savings. This, combined with the aforementioned issues of debt and living costs, paints a pretty bleak financial picture for Millennials. 

Only one in four Millennial employees say they would be able to meet their basic expenses if they were out of work for an extended period of time and 63 percent consistently carry balances on their credit cards. In addition to struggles with emergency savings, Millennials’ retirement savings are taking a hit — 24 percent have already withdrawn money from their retirement funds to pay for other expenses.  

Half of Millennials have reported that financial worries affect their productivity at work, making financial stress a problem for employees and employers alike. Financial wellness programs like Best Money Moves can help alleviate the problem. Best Money Moves is mobile, gamified and easy-to-use — perfect for millennials. It provides practical, unbiased help so employees can make smarter financial decisions and manage the debt they have. 

More on Millennials Financial Stress Statistics 2019

3 Financial Stressors Affecting Every Generation

5 Must-Have Benefits for Millennial Employees

How Financial Stress Affects Gen X at Work

Top 3 Financial Stressors Affecting Gen Z

Financial Wellness as an Employee Engagement Strategy

5 Fast Financial Stress Statistics

Hiring Trends to Watch in 2020

4 Big Employee Benefit Trends for Family Planning

How Can Financial Wellness Be Improved?

Top 10 Employee Benefits for 2020


If you want to learn more about how Best Money Moves can bring financial wellness to your company visit us at Success Connect in Las Vegas this September 15th-19th. Join Best Money Moves founder and CEO Ilyce Glink’s session “Transform the Employee Experience by Reducing Financial Stress and Improving Financial Well-Being” on Wednesday, September 18th at 1:00 p.m.

Then, you can find us in booth #2550 at HR Tech this October 1st-4th and listen to Ilyce Glink’s speech “Employee Financial Stressors by Generation and How to Help at Every Stage” on Thursday, October 3rd from 1:10-2:00 p.m. in the Expo Room.