Millennials and Debt: How Do You Measure Up?Nov 07, 2018
Are you a millennial feeling a little stressed out about the amount of personal debt you carry? It may be comforting to know that you are certainly not the only one in this age demographic who is feeling the squeeze.
The BDO Canada’s Affordability Index survey reveals some interesting insights about how Canadians deals with affordability. When it comes to millennials and the way they see money and debt, the results are shocking. Here are a few key findings:
Most Canadians carry some form of debt
Whether you’re a boomer, a millennial or a Gen-Xer, survey results indicate that almost three-quarters of Canadians carry some type of personal debt, with the average person owing just under $20,000 in non-mortgage debt. Worryingly, almost half of Canadians also admit that their household budget is not enough to allow them to live debt free. The good news, however, is that over half of Canadians have recognized that their debt has become a problem and have made debt relief a top priority.
Millennials feel more affected by debt and affordability than other generations
Although Canadians of all ages are indebted, 81 per cent of millennials feel that they are the most affected by both debt and general affordability, in comparison to other demographics. Older generations tend to agree, with many retirees agreeing that successive generations will need to work longer before they are financially ready to retire.
Millennials also reported a higher incidence of overwhelming debt. 34 per cent of millennials report feeling that their debt is so overwhelming; they are not sure what to do about it, compared with 26 per cent of Gen-Xers and 13 per cent of boomers who reported feeling that same way.
Millennials have different views of needs vs. wants
Interestingly, millennials also seemed to have different views of what constitutes a need and what constitutes a want when it comes to spending and expenses. Millennials cited things like a smartphone, ride-sharing programs like Uber and new clothes as essentials, whereas other generations did not list these things as a necessity.
Millennials feel less prepared for the future and financial emergencies
Although many Canadians of all ages feel unprepared for the future because of their personal debt, millennials were the top demographic to report feeling financially unprepared, with saving for retirement and being prepared for financial emergencies representing top concerns for millennials.
Many of those who fall in the millennial age range also report needing to put financial and life milestones such as buying a house or starting a family on hold due to affordability and the amount of personal debt they carry.
When it comes to money and debt and finding debt relief, how do you measure up?