What Millennial Debt Looks Like, In 4 Charts

Millennials are notoriously burdened with debt, but what exactly does that debt look like right now? Who carries the biggest burden, and how does it impact their goals? We’re looking at the numbers behind the generation’s debt…

Millennials are notoriously behind in preparing for their financial futures. According reporting by Politico this week, they’re “behind in almost every economic dimension.” 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—and, of course, their massive student loan debt is partly to blame.

We should note that despite their relative financial trials, they’re still spending. According to a survey from Bankrate.com, Millennials are actually outspending older generations by about $2,300 a year. But that doesn’t mean that debt hasn’t had a significant impact on their lives—and their mindsets. A Harris Poll for the American Institute of CPAs found that 68% of Millennials say debt has a “negative impact” on their daily life, compared to 59% of Xers, and 48% of Boomers. Paying off debt isn’t just a financial burden (and priority) for Millennials, but also a personal and emotional one. More Millennials than any other generation said that their daily lives are disrupted by debt, with symptoms including relationship tension, misleading family and friends about their financial situation, worrying at bedtime, and stressing about everyday financial decisions. A survey by Student Loan Report even found that 69.3% of borrowers say they’d rather get a loan payment than a present for the holidays, and 58% planned on spending money they received over the 2017 holidays to pay back their loans.

As we’ve outlined before, debt is a reality for the majority of them—and though they may…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “It's free to walk to work and I get some exercise in.”—Female, 26, NY

Niche beauty brands have blurred gender lines at their core—can large cosmetics companies play catch up without seeming “disingenuous”? Milk Makeup and Fluide have built their brands on being inclusive, but larger brands sometimes strike consumers as hopping on the band wagon when they try to do the same—especially since they created so many of the gender norms they’re now rallying against. The best way for them to get in on the trend? Start by making their hiring process more inclusive both “behind the lens” and in front of it. (Fast Company)

Starbucks thinks the “health and wellness” trend is to blame for declining Frappuccino sales. Despite marketing efforts like the Unicorn Frappuccino, syrupy drink sales are down 3% from last year. However, rivals like McDonald’s and Dunkin' Donuts could be stealing sugary beverage sales from the coffee giant, meaning young consumers’ penchant for healthification isn't necessarily the culprit. In fact, McDonalds recently debuted two new frozen drinks that earning praising on Twitter. (NYPFox News)

Apple is getting into kids’ content, teaming up with Sesame Workshop for a slate of original shows. Live-action, animated, and puppet-based series will be included in the programming, but Sesame Street itself is not part of the deal. There are no details yet on where Apple will release the shows, meaning they could either shop them to another platform or debut them on their own streaming platform. Considering that Apple has several original program deals in the works, they could be looking to bulk up their own bid in the streaming wars. (Kidscreen)

Twitter and Tumblr posts are getting a new lease on life—as screenshots on Instagram. While young users of Twitter and Tumblr have declined, Ypulse’s Social Media Trackerfound that over half of 13-35-year-olds use Instagram daily. Instagram is the preferred place to post memes, despite many accounts creating their content elsewhere. Why do they switch platforms to post? Instagram’s Discover tab allows faster browsing than Twitter, while Instagram images are displayed in full rather than being cut off, like they are on Twitter. (The Verge)

Eggo sales are down in between seasons of Stranger Things. Yes, the sci-fi series has that much influence on the frozen waffle’s revenue. One Eggo executive explains that they “quickly leveraged the [resulting] consumer engagement” from the show, and it paid off: sales jumped 14% in the fourth quarter of 2017 and 9.4% for the first four months of 2018. However, fewer people are binging the Gen Z & Millennial favorite these days, so Kellogg’s frozen pancakes, waffles, and French toast sales have slowed to just 1.3% year-over-year. (CNN)

Quote of the Day: “I fell in love with trance music.”—Male, 23, NY

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