As a millennial, you know there’s more to your generation and money than what food trends you hopped on. It’s time to show the world what you’re really made of.
Millennials make up one of the largest generations in history, and now that you’ve entered your prime spending years, you are part of a movement that’s set to reshape the very structure of the global economy.
Money, saving and investing have changed rapidly in the last few decades and financial circumstances now look very different than they did for Gen X and Baby Boomers. According to a 2021 Schwab study, Millennials are a generation focused on travel and new experiences; without focusing on a specific amount for one purpose, Millennials see saving and investing as a path to more freedom.
This focus on flexibility is a response to the uncertainty of shifting social and economic trends, causing Millennials to look to maximise access to digital innovations like fintech, especially for investments.
You may be aware of how fintech improves your everyday life, but attitudes towards saving, spending and investing have shifted in this generation more than those before. While fintech might be new, Millennial uptake is fast and strong, to the point where cash might soon become obsolete.
5 popular financial trends amongst Millennials
New technology and banking tools at your disposal are only part of the reason that more Millennials are growing their wealth through convenient and secure ways. Investments in particular have opened up across multiple asset types including gold and other precious metals.
Here are five big changes you’ll likely have seen or been part of in recent years.
1. A focus on banking convenience and benefits
The banking app on your smartphone is part of your generation’s impact on the finance sector. The brick-and-mortar local bank branch, with several forms that need to be filled out on every visit for any activity, simply isn’t the only place where people transact anymore.
You’re part of a generation that will take any method to bank with minimal fuss, and routinely rely on technology to help simplify it. You’ve looked for products and services that offer more value for your money because it often means you get a better experience out of it.
Finding out if you get your money’s worth means looking into what features banks can offer. You’re more than willing to switch banks for better rewards like no-fee banking, a higher interest rate on deposit accounts, cash back on purchases and foreign ATM fee refunds.
It just makes sense for you to access services at your convenience, regardless of the time–part of why smartphone banking is so popular. Person-to-person money transfers, scheduling bill payments and checking account histories are only some of the functions that you need your bank to be able to handle, no matter where or when you decide to transact.
2. Spending mindfully
You’re no stranger to checking if a product’s packaging is recyclable, if a company shares information on their supply chain or if a brand makes regular charitable donations, and that makes you, like many Millennials, a conscious consumer.
You are part of one of the first generations to understand that your dollar has the power to drive change, which is why we see such a conscious direction in the products and services you invest in, including the willingness to delay a purchase or even pay more, to spend your money where it will have a positive impact.
Millennial money habits are tied to a personal conviction as much as a tendency to seek better customer experiences. Your generation is made of individuals who selectively put money towards businesses and organisations in a way that aligns with your personal values to see growth in a specific direction.
Sustainability and customer service are high on the list of buying and shopping preferences. Brands that focus on reducing carbon footprints, conduct business with transparency around processes and make sure customers are well cared for from transaction beginning to end can draw in your support and earn your loyalty.
Marketing is having to change methods to meet new demands. Instead of insisting a product is valuable and desirable, as per marketing trends of the past, companies now have to show the value of their product or service and prove its usefulness and quality in order to gain buyer trust and loyalty.
Experiences like travel, dining out and online shopping, are enriching Millennial lives because of how rewarding and efficient they are.
3. Saving consistently
Despite the image that Millennials are lazy when it comes to looking after money, your generation is saving more than ever before, with overall savings increased by 10% over the last two years. Millennials are also the youngest generation to start saving, starting around age 24, compared to age 30 for Generation X and age 33 for baby boomers.
As well as saving money towards your goals you are able to make use of budgeting tools that are widely available across banking and personal finance apps to simplify and automate account management without having to monitor it too closely.
Another tool that Millennials are taking advantage of is Systematic Investment Plans (SIP) in mutual funds. In these arrangements, a specific amount of money is deducted from your savings account and invested in a chosen fund on a specific date on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.
Millennial saving goals are diverse; some savings are targeted for retirement, while others are aiming for first homes or looking to upgrade current properties. Rather than putting money away for a singular purpose, it’s about the flexibility and choices that come with a fund.
4. Finding different sources of income
You’ve seen financial crises in the past and their impact on people’s income, so you know the value of a ‘side hustle’ that brings a little more money in. Even in recent memory, you may have considered taking on an additional job to help you recover from the pandemic’s impact.
Instead of relying on one stream of income that leaves you vulnerable to economic slowdowns, your generation makes sure you have more than a single job and a limited emergency fund to turn to. You’ve looked out for multiple streams of income to protect yourself and make sure you’re not too dependent on money from one source.
A side gig that provides even just a few hundred dollars per month makes the difference between falling behind on bills and making ends meet. Even if you reach a relatively more stable place financially, you still see yourself keeping the side gig for additional income.
More sources of funding offer you more opportunities to save, invest and spend suited to your needs, putting in the work towards financial freedom and adaptability for your lifestyle.
5. Seeking advice before major financial moves
You’re not alone if you think you need to think before you act; many Millennials look for more financial information and guidance about which options work for their unique financial goals, usually from the people closest and most trusted.
Overwhelmed by the various investment strategies and financial options available, trusted advice from family and friends reduces that burden.
Perhaps partly thanks to the wealth of options, there is not a strong trend for Millennials to invest with confidence. There is a general understanding that your retirement accounts may not last, putting pressure on you to look for investments to secure a comfortable future, however, it’s likely you don’t know much about your current investments (like superannuation), but have a strong sense that this and other investments are important.
If you are looking for border investment options you might like to consider gold, in particular, digital gold through fintech. Increasingly, more Millennials realise the importance of protecting themselves from economic uncertainties. Gold prices tend to remain stable even in the face of a market downturn, which is why many investors include it in their portfolios to help hedge against inflation.
Investors in your generation prioritise convenience and spending with personal ethics and values in mind. As well as consistent savings, it’s important that you find additional sources of income and consult others before making big financial decisions. You’re not alone if any or all of these trends describe how you approach your money–it’s all a matter of finding the balance of savings and investment for your plans.
Want to take your savings to the next level? Download the Nauggets App so you can strike gold in your financial journey.