A financial storm may be brewing for the debt-laden, stressed young Americans who are part of the Generation Y demographic, according to a recent Western Union survey.
Financial positions in the first half of 2010 deteriorated for one out of three of 87 million Americans age 18-34, the index shows. Nearly 30% of Gen Y’ers reported having difficulty in managing their spending, more than 20% waited longer to pay their bills, 35% borrowed money from friends or family members, and 50% reported feeling increased stress about financial obligations.
“Gen Y’ers are generally described as creative, independent, and tech savvy, while at the same time they are sometimes seen as overly confident and impatient. Many are also in trouble financially,” says a Western Union news release for the latest Money Mindset Index.
Western Union has a good understanding of financial trouble. Now over 150 years old, the company went bankrupt in 1994 and survived by undergoing a corporate facelift that incorporates modern electronic tools such as global account transfers and prepaid credit cards. The company’s consumer-to-consumer segment, representing 84% of overall revenue, offers money transfer services that are popular with immigrants as well as college students and their parents. As a result, Western Union has become something of an expert in the spending patterns of America’s youth.
The survey was conducted for Western Union in May 2010 by Javelin Research, which surveyed more than 3,000 consumers online about their current behaviors and emotional mindset regarding debt and personal finance issues.
One bright spot for Gen Y’ers is their use of technology to better manage their finances.