Members of the so-called Millennial generation, those born between 1980 and 2000, often get lumped together as one techy, spoiled, self-assured mass, despite ranging in age from 14 to 34. But according to a new survey by PNC Financial Services Group, when it comes to money habits not all Millennials are the same.
In its latest Financial Independence Survey of more than 3,000 Americans, PNC compared the financial habits of young adults ages 20 to 24 with those ages 25 to 29. It discovered that the younger set carries half the debt burden ($17,100) of the older set ($35,600), and nearly one third of the younger Millennials have no debt whatsoever, compared to just one in five of the older group.
Additionally, the younger respondents are more likely to save money (90%) than their older peers (83%), and report putting aside a larger proportion of their annual incomes.
Of course, as the breakdown below shows, older Millennials are twice as likely to own a home and carry significantly more mortgage debt, which is a primary reason for the skew. However, the younger set shows a much better handle on credit card debt — carrying an average $US500 each, compared to the $US2,100 held by those 25-29 — as well as lower car loans and miscellaneous debts.
Average debt carried by Millennials age 20-24:
Education — $US8,200
Credit Card — $US500
Car Loan — $US1,500
Medical Bills — $US1,100
Loans from parents/other — $US800
Mortgage — $US4,500
Other — $US500
Average debt carried by Millennials age 25-29:
Education — $US8,500
Credit Card — $US2,100
Car Loan — $US3,600
Medical Bills — $US2,100
Loans from parents/other — $US1,000
Mortgage — $US17,000
Other — $US1,500
“Financial maturity in this generation has noticeably shifted,” said Cary Guffey, a financial advisor at PNC Wealth Management, in a statement. “Younger Millennials just entered adulthood when the economy shifted downward, and as a result, it’s clear they’ve become more cautious by avoiding debt.”
It’s important to note that while young 20-somethings may indeed be more careful about taking on debt, it’s also possible that they have fewer expenses.