Better Money Habits® Millennial Report – Winter 2020

Our 2020 Better Money Habits Millennial Report explored the money mindset of today’s young adults (ages 24-41), revealing their financial priorities, trade-offs and stressors and how they’re balancing it all along the way.

Millennials are saving more than ever 2018, 2020 comparative bar graph

Millennials are saving more than ever.

Below the text are three separate bar charts in navy and red comparing responses to three questions that were asked to those surveyed in both 2018 (navy) and 2020 (red).

The first graph shows that 73% of millennials surveyed for the 2020 report said they were saving. This is compared to 63% of those surveyed in 2018. The second graph shows that of those millennials with savings, 59% have $15,000 or more saved (in 2020), compared to 47% in 2018. The third graph shows that in 2020, 24% of millennials with savings have $100,000 or more, while 16% percent of respondents said the same in 2018.

We found that nearly one in four millennials that are saving have at least $100,000, up from 16 percent in 2018 and 8 percent in 2015. Despite this good news, millennials still feel behind financially compared to peers and are juggling substantial debt levels with near and long-term financial priorities.

  • Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of millennials are saving for life milestones and future goals, a 10 percentage point increase compared to 2018. Three-quarters are saving for retirement, while 51 percent are building an emergency fund.

  • Over the past year, 39 percent of millennials boosted their credit score, 29 percent secured a raise and 24 percent put away more toward retirement.

  • Millennials saving for retirement started building their nest egg at 24 years old, on average – earlier than Gen X (30) and baby boomers (33).

  • Despite financial progress, 51 percent of millennials feel behind in their overall financial situation and 33 percent believe their peers are better off financially. Seventy-three percent are not optimistic about their financial future. 

  • Seventy-six percent of millennials carry debt of some kind, with 16 percent owing $50,000 or more, excluding home loans. Of those with debt, 76 percent say they can’t achieve their personal and financial goals because of it.

  • Still, 90 percent of millennials are willing to make sacrifices to achieve a financial goal, including cutting back on dining out (70 percent) and eliminating vacations (35 percent).

For complete findings, download the 2020 report
Bank of America conducts this report to understand where young adults are and what they are going through, which informs additional ways Better Money Habits may help them. The Better Money Habits platform offers a simple way to connect people to relevant advice, tools and guidance that empower them to take control of their finances. Our resources help build know-how around topics like budgeting, saving, managing debt, homeownership, retirement and more – so people have the power to learn AND take action. 
Download the Winter 2018 report 
Download the Fall 2016 report 
Download the Fall 2015 report 
Download the Spring 2015 report 
Download the Fall 2014 report