Millennials Say This Is Their Biggest Financial Mistake

Millennials’ finances are often scrutinized, and they have faced an uphill battle as a generation. But what do they think has been their biggest financial mistake?

Millennials’ uphill financial battles have been well-documented. According to reporting by Politico, they’re “behind in almost every economic dimension,” and the ratio of how much they have invested in assets like 401(k) plans to their income is below Gen X and Boomers and is projected to remain that way. Of course, their massive student loan debt is partly to blame. When we looked at their biggest financial priorities last year, paying off their debt or student loans was at the top of their lists, followed by paying for or saving for college or graduate school. These top two priorities feed off one another and have pushed other goals, like buying a house, purchasing a car, and starting a family, further down the list. Graduating into the recession has also made them an incredibly cautious generation, with a risk-averse attitude that has held many back from investing. It’s a perfect cocktail of financial regrets.

Even those who have made the “right” moves are feeling anxious. According to Bank of the West, nearly 70% of Millennial homeowners regret buying their house, with about 40% saying they made the wrong financial choices when buying their house. What else does the generation wish they had done differently when it comes to money matters? In our recent survey on their personal finances, we asked 18-36-year-olds, “What is the biggest mistake you've made or regret you have regarding your finances?” Here are their 13 most common responses:

*This was an open-end response question to allow us to capture the full range of Millennials’ financial regrets right now—without our preconceived ideas shaping their responses. As…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day:  Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.”—Kate McManus, VP of Marketing, Delicato Family Wines (Wine Spectator)

Young consumers are “killing the shopping spree.” Whether they’re signing up for the growing number of clothing subscription services (Rent the Runway, Le Tote, Urban Outfitters, etc.), shopping second-hand, or just culling their closets—young shoppers are quitting fast fashion in droves. Some are inspired by Marie Kondo’s joy-sparking brand of minimalism, while others want to help the environment—and still others are just seeking a wide range of things to wear at a lower price. (Vice)

Airbnb is launching “adventures” for experience-seeking young travelers. The site that started with accommodations and moved into one-off “experiences” (like dinner parties) now offers multi-day excursions, complete with guides, gear, meals, and accommodations. The platform already features over 200 trips in 40 countries, including a tiger-tracking expedition in Kenya and a trek through the canyons of Oman. (Fast Company)

Tyson Foods is taking on the fake meat market with plant-based nuggets. The pea protein nuggets are the first in a line of “Raised & Rooted” products from Tyson Foods. The brand's CEO explains they’re catering to the “growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein”—aka young flexitarians, not full-time vegans. But can a company known for its meat sell the idea that “this [trend] is about ‘and’—not ‘or’”? (The Verge)

Snapchatters can shop Levi’s new Pride Month jacket via selfie filter. The Shoppable feature is first enabled by scanning a QR code found at select stores or by getting a special Snapcode from a friend. Then, users can try on the special-edition trucker jacket via augmented reality, customizing it with one of two washes and a selection of six pins and patches. Once they complete the look, users can purchase the Pride Month Jacket—without ever leaving the app. (SJ)

Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition revamps the original. The new smart speakertakes many cues from the adult version’s second generation (it’s louder and rounder) but adds special features just for kids that go beyond a rainbow-striped color scheme. The device will come with a year of FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service that includes popular Alexa skills like Pinkfong’s Baby Shark Adventures, as well as an enhanced parental control suite to address growing privacy concerns. (VarietyCNET)

Quote of the Day: “Young people still have an incredible interest in the Olympic Games…But the way they are consuming the Olympic Games—the type of content they are watching and the ways and the platforms on which they are watching—are fundamentally changing.”—Kit McConnell, Sports Director, International Olympic Committee (Bloomberg)

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