Research and Statistics

Infographic: Millennials’ financial acumen is slipping


Money smarts fall among young adults, survey shows

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An update to a 2015 survey by Navy Federal Credit Union spotlights some concerning news about millennials and their money: Though they’re now two years older, their financial skills and confidence have dropped instead of risen.

In 2015, almost 3 in 10 millennials (29 percent) said they have a household budget they review at least annually. This spring, only 18 percent said the same. They’re also checking their credit scores less, with 44 percent saying in 2015 that they’d checked their score in the previous 12 months, compared to only 36 percent this year.

Financial confidence is also down. While more than a third of 2015 respondents (37 percent) said they feel they know enough about managing their money to meet their financial goals, only 26 percent had the same confidence in 2017.

Feeling they don’t know enough might explain one of the larger two-year discrepancies in the survey, the number of millennials that have thought about what their financial goals are or should be. Two years ago, a slim majority said yes, they’d thought about their goals. But in 2017, that share dropped 15 percentage points to just 37 percent.

Navy Federal’s 2017 data was collected by Forrester Data Consulting from a demographically representative sample of about 1,000 millennials age 18-34. The online survey was conducted in February and March 2017, with findings released Aug. 14.

Millennials' falling financial chops

See related: Millennials most likely to actively monitor credit, Credit use by generation: Who is doing the best job?, More infographics

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