More millennials successfully saving money
In the last few years, many Americans have continued to struggle financially despite the overarching economic improvement seen nationwide. However, this may be particularly true of young adults, for whom the effects of the recession likely hit hardest. However, the money lessons they likely learned when things were toughest seem to be serving them well now, as many are making significant in-roads to a better financial future.
Millennials in Chicago, for instance, are well ahead of their peers when it comes to putting money into savings, according to a new survey from Bank of America and USA Today. Currently, about 7 in 10 Chicago-based young adults say that this is something they do regularly, compared with just 56 percent of all millennials across the country. Meanwhile, the reasons why they're doing so may be encouraging as well.
What are their goals?
When it comes to young Chicagoans, the most common reason to save money seems to be creating or building up an emergency fund, as 54 percent of respondents do so regularly, the report said. In addition, though saving up to buy a home is a priority for 35 percent, while 34 percent each say that they're saving for retirement or want to put money away so that they can travel on occasion.
However, despite these efforts, many of those polled say they wish they were able to accomplish more, the report said. For instance, only a little more than 1 in 3 respondents say that they feel good about how much money they've actually socked away, as 46 percent have been able to save less than $5,000 across all their various accounts (bank, retirement, etc.). In addition, 44 percent of those polled said that they do not have enough money set aside to cover three months' worth of living expenses, which could put them in a pretty considerable pickle if a major, unforeseeable financial emergency hits.
A stressful situation
Perhaps because they feel like they're not doing as good of a job as possible when it comes to saving money, many millennials in the Chicago area report stress about this issue, the report said. Nearly 2 in 3 say they've felt worried, angry, or hopeless about their savings situation at some point, while some 40 percent feel "chronically stressed" about it.
"There are two parts to the story here," said Tim Maloney, Illinois president for Bank of America. "Our young people are trying to be responsible with their finances, but they're struggling with the stress of rising expenses and economic uncertainty. That's not healthy for them or for the future of our city - and they shouldn't have to go it alone."
The good news for those who are successful in saving money, though, is that there are many benefits to doing so. For instance, this money can be used to pay down debt on occasion, or simply improve a person's overall financial standing to the point that they are on much more secure ground.