Despite Financial Optimism, Common Monetary Goals Feel Out of Reach for Millennials and Gen Zers

todayJune 17, 2021

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By Vernita Dorsey | WSFS Bank

It’s no secret Millennial and Gen Z consumers have faced their fair share of adversity from financial crises as they matured from adolescence into adulthood.

And while every generation faces financial setbacks, these adverse events have had a profound impact on these younger Americans, affecting their habits and leaving some common goals feeling out of reach, according to a new study from WSFS Bank of 2,005 Americans between ages 18-40.

Of those polled, 65% describe their overall financial situation as either “good” or “excellent,” while 53% of African American respondents agreed.

African American respondents were more likely to see their financial goals as achievable in the future, with 75% saying they were optimistic they’ll achieve their goals compared to 58% of total respondents.

Despite this positive outlook, 43% said they frequently have trouble paying everyday living expenses, with 19% saying it happens to them “constantly.”

Financial Literacy Gaps
When it comes to financial literacy, 61% of respondents agreed that most of what they’ve learned about finance was through osmosis, with 75% of men agreeing compared to 49% of women.

However, on where they learned financial lessons, parents topped the list of sources at 36%, with African American respondents (52%) more likely to agree they learned from their parents. But only 23% of total respondents said they learned financial skills in school, making it clear a financial literacy gap exists.

The lack of financial education has left many of these younger consumers struggling with money management, including 87% who said they’re not good at putting money into savings. As a result, many common monetary goals such as saving for retirement (38%) and buying a home (37%) feel out of reach for these generations.

It’s never too late for any generation to prioritize money management to build financial stability, however, and there is an abundance of educational content online to help bridge these gaps and build your financial confidence – from articles and books to interactive tools like WSFS iQ.

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