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: “Supernatural is a guilty pleasure show.  While it isn't very consistent in terms of plotline, it’s a fun show with a lovable cast, and it’s ludicrous story keeps you wondering what is next.”—Female, 26, GA

Millennial women are taking over proposing, and looking up ways to pop the question. On Pinterest, “women propose to men ideas” is being searched more than ever, with popularity of the term rising 336% year-over-year. And women aren’t just getting down on one knee to propose to men: the term with the greatest growth from 2017 is “unique lesbian proposals,” which saw a 1,352% rise. Pinterest also found that emerald engagement rings are trending, demonstrating Millennials’ growing interest in non-diamond options. (The Cut)

Dave & Buster’s is positioned to win over experience-loving Millennials. Despite disappointing earnings of late, investors are buying up the experiential restaurant’s stock during its dip because (as one analyst explains) they “believe [Dave & Buster's] can outperform other full-service concepts and drive multiple expansion as it proves itself as a differentiated growth concept.”  Our Experiencification trend backs up their bet, finding that 74% of Gen Z & Millennials would rather spend money on experiences than products. (TheStreet)

Airlines made for Millennials are failing. Air France is thinking about shuttering Joon, their trendy airline, just one year after it took flight. As it turns out, Generation Wanderlust values one thing above amenities like stylish steward outfits and smart tech: value itself. The airlines that are seeing success are budget-friendly first and foremost, like Norwegian Air. ICF Aviation’s SVP sums it up, “What does a [M]illennial want in an airline? A low fare and a good schedule…They don’t want more purple lighting.” (Vox)

Fortnite isn’t just “the most important game of 2018"—it’s “a cultural tsunami.” Nearly 80 million people played the battle royale-style game that’s taking over the internet this year, and over 65% of Fortnite’s players are under-24-years-old. If that’s not enough evidence that brands should cashing in on the craze, celebrities like Drake are playing the game and sports stars like Antoine Griezmann are doing Fortnite’s signature emote dances on the field. (CNET)

Media companies could be under-estimating Nickelodeon’s young fandom. Nielsen reports that two-11-year-olds spent 23 hours each week watching TV in the second quarter of 2018, with almost 15 of those hours taken up by live TV or DVR-recorded content. While Nickelodeon ratings may be down, they’re still the leader of kids’ networks, accounting for 67% of all ad-supported kids’ TV viewing. However, 74% of Millennial parents tell Ypulse that their children watch more content on streaming services than cable. (Bloomberg)

Quote of the Day: “I like playing and talking about [Animal Crossing] with other people. It's nostalgic for me since I've been playing games from the series from a young age.”—Female, 22, PA

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