Millennials in Raleigh-Durham Stress About Finances but Still Manage to Budget and Save

January 30, 2018 at 9:00 AM Eastern

Millennials in the Raleigh-Durham area are more likely to stress about finances than their peers nationwide but are still practicing smart financial habits like saving and budgeting, according to the new Better Money Habits® Millennial Report released today by Bank of America.

The report, which surveyed 23- to 37-year-olds found that 33 percent of millennials here say that they often worry about their financial situation, compared to 25 percent of millennials nationally. Their top financial stressors are not putting enough money into savings (36 percent), their career path (26 percent) and the cost of everyday items like groceries (24 percent).

Despite their stress, they are defying the stereotype that their generation is bad with money, and the majority are displaying solid financial habits, like planning and maintaining budgets and setting aside money for the future. In fact, the survey shows that:

  • Millennials in Raleigh-Durham are more likely to budget than their peers nationwide. Sixty-five percent plan and manage a budget, versus 54 percent nationally. Fifty-nine percent of those who budget say they stick to it every month or most months.

  • Fifty-seven percent of Raleigh-Durham millennials are saving, roughly on par with 63 percent of their peers nationwide. Their top reasons for saving are to have an emergency fund (61 percent), retirement (51 percent) and vacation/travel (34 percent).

  • Sixty percent have a savings goal, and it’s not all talk: 70 percent of Raleigh-Durham millennials who have a savings goal usually meet it.

“We don’t always give millennials enough credit because stereotypes suggest they do not manage their money very well,” said Kari Stoltz, Triangle market president, Bank of America. “However, here in the Triangle, the majority of millennials are saving and budgeting — proving that those stereotypes don’t hold water. Unfortunately, at the same time, their finances are causing them significant stress. With that information in mind, we’re trying to help them control that stress and better manage their money with resources like the Spending and Budgeting tool, which helps people understand where their money is going, set goals and track progress.”

Better Money Habits is Bank of America’s free financial education platform. It features easy-to-understand information and tools to navigate personal finance topics like spending and budgeting, home ownership, taxes and income, and more. The Better Money Habits Millennial Report explores millennials’ views on personal finance matters to give insight into the unique financial milestones they experience as young adults. This is the fifth installment of the report, which has been published since 2014.

At work, passion more important than paycheck; gig economy is thriving

In terms of career priorities, Raleigh-Durham millennials prioritize passion over paycheck more so than their peers nationwide. Sixty-three percent of millennials in Raleigh-Durham say that interest/passion is more important than their salary, compared to 56 percent of millennials nationally.

As less traditional career paths become the new norm for millennials, the gig economy is thriving in Raleigh-Durham: 39 percent of millennials here consider themselves to be part of the gig economy (taking on short-term contracts or freelance work), and 25 percent expect to have eight or more jobs in their lifetime. Still, that is not always by choice: 27 percent of Raleigh-Durham millennials have been laid off.

More than one-quarter of millennial couples in Raleigh-Durham keep finances separate; one in five don’t know spouse’s salary

In terms of how they manage their family finances, 28 percent of millennial couples in Raleigh-Durham keep their finances separate. In addition, 21 percent of millennials in Raleigh-Durham don't know how much their spouse/partner makes.

Report methodology

Bank of America commissioned a survey of 1,500 respondents, ages 18 to 71, to explore their views on personal financial matters. The survey was conducted online in English and Spanish during the period of September 22–October 16, 2017. Interviews were conducted by GfK Public Communications and Social Science, using GfK’s KnowledgePanel®, a statistically representative sample source used to yield results that are projectable to the American population. The margin of sampling error for national data is +/- 3.1 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. An augment sample of approximately 2,025 additional interviews was also included to bring the millennials found in the national sample up to 300 completes each in six DMA markets including Austin, Texas; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; San Diego, Calif.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Denver, Colo.; and Seattle, Wash. Margin of error for the DMA augments are higher than that of the national sample.

Better Money Habits®

At Bank of America, we’re committed to helping people lead better financial lives by equipping them with the skills, knowledge and confidence to succeed. That’s why we created Better Money Habits, a financial education platform of tools and information that helps people make sense of their money and take action to improve. As a cornerstone of Better Money Habits, we offer free financial education content and tools that break down financial topics in a way that’s digestible, approachable and tailored. We also work with the education nonprofit Khan Academy on a video series for young adults focused on career-related financial topics. We continually look for ways to expand the reach of Better Money Habits and over the course of 2018 will offer Spanish language resources on the site.

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world's leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 47 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,500 retail financial centers, approximately 16,000 ATMs, and award-winning digital banking with approximately 35 million active users, including approximately 24 million mobile users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. 

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Reporters May Contact:
Vanessa Cook, Bank of America
Phone: 1.980.683.2247