The Top 10 Financial Stressors for Millennials

July 12, 2018

You hear a lot about Millennials, those born between 1982 and 2000, these days. It seems as if our nation’s attention has shifted to this particular generation. And I can understand why.

The Millennials are a very large generation. Therefore, they are a very influential generation. They are also entering adulthood. So their decision-making is bound to have a big impact, not just on their generation, but everyone else too.

From a financial standpoint, Millennials are known to have a significant amount of student loan debt. Their college years occurred when tuition went sky high.

So do Millennials primarily worry about their student loan debt? A recent study by Bank of America revealed the top financial stressors for Millennials. Student loan debt is in there. But it’s not the top stressor. Here they are:

1. Not saving enough (35%). This is not necessarily for retirement. Millennials are, in general, concerned that they don’t have enough set aside for the future.

2. My career path (24%). Thirty-four percent of Millennials want to make a career but feel it is too late. Many wish they had chosen a career path that provides better work/life balance and aligns more with their passion.

3. Not planning and saving for retirement (21%). Many Millennials are aware of the need to save for retirement, but they are not really sure how much they will need. Unfortunately, another study revealed that some Millennials are shooting too low. In the study, 34% of Millennials said that they would need less than $200,000 to retire.

4. Not being able to afford a home (20%). Millennials want their own place. But the cost of homeownership concerns them. This is especially true for those living in places like Seattle and New York City, where housing prices are extremely high. 

5. Health costs (19%). Since Millennials entered the workforce, healthcare costs has skyrocketed. And some are worried that they cannot afford it now or in the future.

6-10. Student loans; losing my job; spending more than I should; credit-card debt; not having enough to invest (17% for each category). These five round out the top 10. So student loan debt does concern Millennials, but it is not their greatest concern.

Millennials, while known for student loan debt, have greater concerns. They worry about the financial future and their job.

Of course, many of the stressors the Millennials express are concerns for most generations. And it is because of these concerns, that the eight Money Milestones were created.

  • Milestone 1: Start giving,
  • Milestone 2: Save $1,500 for a minor emergency.
  • Milestone 3: max out your 401(k) or 403(b) match.
  • Milestone 4: Pay off all debt except your mortgage.
  • Milestone 5: Save 3-6 months of living expenses for a job-loss level emergency.
  • Milestone 6: Put 15% of your gross income to retirement.
  • Milestone 7: Save for college or pay off your mortgage.
  • Milestone 8: Live generously.

Let’s pursue God’s design for us and our money. Let’s give generously, save wisely, and live appropriately.


Written by Art Rainer, member of the Summit Stewardship and Generosity Ministry Leadership Team.

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