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Industry Spotlight > Women in Wealth

Pandemic Lockdown Provides Silver Lining for Millennials

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Three in five American millennials in a new survey reported that the coronavirus pandemic has had a positive effect on their finances, Money Under 30, a personal finance site, reported Monday.

Sixty-nine percent of respondents said they had spent less money overall during the lockdown, with the biggest savings coming in these areas:

  • Eating out – 52%
  • Transportation – 47%
  • Nights out drinking – 30%
  • Vacations – 28%
  • Gym membership – 21%

“It seems that a lot of millennials didn’t get the recession memo,” Money Under 30’s managing editor Rebecca Greig said in a statement.

“For the Avocado Toast generation, who value experiences over material wealth, it’s unsurprising that they made the biggest savings on going out, whether on barista-brewed coffee, dinner and cocktails or the Uber ride home after a night of bar-hopping.”

SurveyMonkey conducted online survey across all U.S. states in mid-May among 2,131 adults, ages 18–39.

(Related: Did Retirees Flee Market Due to Coronavirus?)

The survey did find a significant uptick in online shopping among respondents, with 40% saying they had done so out of boredom and 20% because of depression. Fifty-seven percent of online shoppers said they had bought nonessential items during the pandemic and 53% groceries.

Who was splurging online during the pandemic? The survey results showed that 62.5% of men who worked from home spent money on online shopping (not including groceries), compared with 58% of women.

The gender gap showed up in another area: 64% of women in the survey said they were thinking about their finances, versus 57% of men.

Investing Is Best

In a major finding, 61% of millennials surveyed said now was a good time to invest.

This was especially the case for respondents on the younger end of the age spectrum: 70% of under-30s said they were interested in learning how to invest, compared with 55% of those 30 and older.

Twenty percent of millennials said they planned to start investing because of the pandemic, with 82% of men in this cohort saying they were interested in learning more about investing or doubling down on existing investments, compared with 72% of women.

“The stock market has seen more jumps and falls this year than the average roller coaster but it’s one that Millennials are only too keen to ride,” Greig said. “Months of staying home with an uncertain future has encouraged young people to take stock of their finances and put their faith in the markets.”

How People Work Now

COVID-19 has had a big effect on how millennials work, according to the survey.

Sixty-eight percent of respondents said the pandemic had affected their job, with one-third finding themselves newly working from home and another third facing furloughs, reduced hours and/or salary or job losses.

But working from home has had economic benefits for many millennials.

Seventy-eight of those  of those working from home said their overall expenses had decreased, compared with 60% of those working from their regular job site. The reason: higher home spending on electricity, groceries and coffee was offset by extensive savings on transportation and eating out.

It won’t be news that the video conferencing platform Zoom is one of the undisputed winners of the pandemic.

According to the survey, 48% of respondents reported that they had tried Zoom for the first time during lockdown, including 52% of younger millennials and 42% of older ones.

In addition, 52% of respondents who worked at home said they used the platform, compared with 45% of those who worked away.

(Related: Did Retirees Flee Market Due to Coronavirus?)


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