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: “The [financial] industry has been slow to adapt to the ways in which young people want to be communicated with and to communicate with each other.”—Ian Rosen, CEO, StockTwits (YPulse)

Instagram users can now purchase products without leaving the app. The platform’s shopping tags are evolving to allow users to check out directly inside the app from about 20 retailers using saved payment and shipping information. The move doesn’t just give Facebook a direct cut of each sale, but also allows the platform to collect data that they’ll leverage in their ad targeting. Instagram’s influence over young consumers’ purchases continues to skyrocket, and according to our Shoppability trend, 72% of Gen Z & Millennials are open to buying products on social media. (Recode)

Disney and MAC Cosmetics are debuting a nostalgic makeup line for Aladdin fans. The Disney Aladdin collection features lipstick, an eyeshadow palette, and bronzer in jewel and metallic hues that Princess Jasmine might wear with her bright turquoise outfit. The partnership is part of the lead-up to the live-action Aladdin’s debut, and isn’t MAC’s first time introducing fans to whole new worlds of Disney-themed cosmetics. In the past, they’ve also released Cinderella and Disney villains-themed lines. (Teen Vogue)

Google announced their ambitious plan to become “the future of gaming:” a cloud-based streaming service called Stadia. Gamers will be able to play across device (phones, TVs, tablets, etc.) without waiting for the title to load in a YouTube-connected setting. That means viewers can instantly play titles featured in videos and stream their own gameplay to YouTube—which could challenge industry leader, Amazon-owned Twitch. The Netflix-like service is set to launch this year. (The Verge)

Instagrammable dim sum is going global. The craze stared in Hong Kong, where Social Places serves up bao made to look like tiny pigs and charcoal custard bao filled with “a thick liquid that oozes out like lava,” introducing three or four new incarnations each month to keep customers coming back. Meanwhile at Disneyland Hong Kong, Crystal Lotus customers dine on buns that look like their favorite animated characters, including Frozen's Olaf. In the U.S., San Francisco’s Chili House and New York’s RedFarm are some of the first to take on the trend. (Bloomberg)

Netflix’s next choose-your-own-adventure series lets viewers chart Bear Grylls’ journey through the wilderness. Soon, Netflix viewers will have the chance to become outdoors experts from the comfort of their couches, as they make the survival show celebrity’s choices as he traverses tricky situations. Grylls himself says that he’s “giving viewers an all-access pass to explore the world and its landscapes in my boots” and that “For the first time, my survival is in your hands.” (THR)

Quote of the Day: “One of the biggest myths about Millennials is that they do not want to engage with human beings, especially if a chatbot, app, or a website can be deployed.”—Xiomara Lorenzo, Director, Society of Grownups (YPulse)

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