NEW YORK (StudyFinds.org) – Checking their finances is one of the last things on the minds of these millennials. A survey examining how 2,000 millennials manage their money reveals that the average young adult spends almost 150 hours more per year browsing social media than monitoring their finances!
It’s not the only activity they seem to prioritize before their money – or lack thereof. They are also more likely to play with their pets or search for a new TV show to stream than to check their money weekly.
In fact, being on top of their finances comes last on a list of activities millennials spend time doing, including deciding what to eat for dinner or tending to their plants.
Set it and forget it
Finances seem to be a tricky subject for millennials, with more than a quarter of respondents admitting that they only check their bank account balance once a week (27%). Almost half are unsure of the amount of money currently in their bank account (45%).
Driven by OnePoll in partnership with To the top, the survey found that the ease of making payments automatically can contribute to a lack of awareness about their finances. Millennials use their cellphones, tablets or computers to log an average of five monthly bills into “autopay” – an automatic payment system used to track monthly costs.
More than half of respondents who use the feature admit they rely on “automatic checkout” pay their bills (57%) because of its convenience (45%), it saves them money (39%), or because they have fewer worries about late payments (38%). Four in five millennials say they’re more likely to make impulse purchases because they’re confident “auto-pay” will keep track of their bills (81%).
This may explain why millennials seek greater control over their finances. In fact, more than half (51%) say they would feel more control of their finances if they rely less on ‘automatic payment’, and three-quarters do not want to rely on others for money.
Pandemic debt is piling up for millennials
Four in five also think it’s important to develop good financial habits at a young age, but it’s not too late for those looking to gain more control over their finances now.
“Taking control of your finances isn’t just about meeting your monthly expenses; it’s also about taking a proactive role in managing and developing healthy financial habits,” Jenn Kischell, vice president of Upwise at MetLife, said in a statement. “People tend to underestimate your expenses, especially when using autopay. This is why it is essential to regularly carry out an overall assessment of your finances.
To help track debt and savings, people are turning to financial planners (50%), financial apps (48%) or trying to stick to a good old-fashioned monthly budget (45%) . Sixty-two percent of people who have lived increase in debt during the pandemic had an additional $10,000 added to their debt vs. 54% of respondents who had that amount added to their savings.
“Managing your finances doesn’t have to be as daunting or overwhelming as it seems,” adds Kischell. “Tools like financial wellness apps can be a powerful resource to help take action that leads to confidence and a greater sense of control. Everyone deserves to feel good about their finances, small steps can help free up that next dollar and the good news is that it’s never too late to start.