Millennials are the great new consumer force and marketers spend billions trying to find them and sell them a product or service. However, most traditional marketing doesn’t seem to work with Millennials. Millennials, the generation formerly referred to as Generation Y and those individuals that were born in the 80’s and 90’s, have come of age and are actively contributing to the economy with jobs and consumerism.
Technology has practically always been a part of their life and they were the first to grasp the potential of the social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This social media exposure has changed the way they communicate and look for information about products and advice.
When it comes to financial information, Millennials look to their social networks of family and friends for information. A recent study by Bank of America/USA Today shed some light on how Millennials obtain financial information and contrasts that against their parents. The study found that Parents (62%), Friends (29%), Other Family (28%), and School (27%) were the top four responses to where Millennials received financial information. These are all very socially-based responses.
Yet, parents of Millennials weren’t much different. When parents of Millennials were asked where they obtained their financial information, they responded: Parents (41%), Other Family (29%), Professional (25%), and Friends (22%). Friends and family were top responses, but one-in-four parents of a Millennial obtained financial information from a professional.
The popularity of friends and family makes sense. We spend most of our time with friends and family so discussing money will surely come up from time to time. Additionally, the once very taboo topic of money, is quickly becoming less of one as 35% of parents are actively supporting their Millennial children (Wow!).
Millennials haven’t had the easiest path into the job market. They faced two big recessions in 2002 and 2008 and many are encumbered by sizable student loan debt. But their dreams and aspirations differ from those of generations before them. When asked what “having made it means” to them, only 40% responded with owning their dream home. Additionally, 70% of the respondents wanted to be able to afford anything including travel and treating friends and family.
Parents and grandparents of Millennials (or any children) continue to pass along good financial advice and smart money habits. The study found that 60% of Millennials felt their parents prepared them to manage their own finances, but 47% said they wished their parents started talking to them about money sooner. Don’t be afraid to have open discussions about spending, saving, investing and gifting with your kin.
We encourage you to introduce them to us. We would be happy to share some insights into how to be smart with their money. Your kids are looking to you for the advice and they appreciate it (even if they don’t thank you for it).