Have we finally reached the point where we can stop characterizing an entire generation as privileged, overly-caffeinated startup founders on hoverboards and start talking about millennials as real people with real financial responsibilities?
Perhaps — at least according to data. A recent survey on bonus and tax spending from Capital One found that millennials were more financially responsible than stereotypes suggest. Their answers to questions about spending and savings priorities defied the view that they are "lazy, entitled and frivolous,” says Nicole Lapin,a financial expert and author of “Rich Bitch: A Simple 12-Step Plan for Getting Your Financial Life Together...Finally.”
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Here's what Lapin had to say about the results — and the one thing millenials simply won't do, even for a bigger bonus.
Millennials value experiences and adventure over cash
Because money isn't the sole motivating factor for millennials, they’re more likely to use it toward doing what they love, rather than buying material items, explains Lapin. “For example, when asked what they’d do with a bigger bonus, millennials chose things like a trip to rock band camp, a new custom-made wardrobe and even a multi-course tasting menu at a three-star restaurant,” she says.
Millennials are more financially responsible than they get credit for
Consider that the majority of millennials (60 percent) say they are practical about using their tax refund, and43 percent say they would be willing to give up caffeine for a year for a bigger bonus. We wonder: Do Maxwell House coffee crystals and water count as coffee?
There are still a few things they won't give up
Almost two-thirds (64 percent) say they would rather get less than expected for their bonus than have their parents set them up on a blind date. (Really, is a parental-orchestrated blind date necessarily worse than Tinder?) However,70 percent say they would rather get less than expected on their tax refund than hand over their social media passwords to their ex (honestly, we can’t blame you there).
They’re less addicted to social media than older generations
“The millennial stereotype is that we are addicted to social media and run around with lattes — this survey shows that we would forgo that for more cash! For instance, 46 percent of millennials are willing to go on a year-long digital detox with limited access to their phone, internet and social media for some extra cash,” says Lapin, compared with just 31 percent of Gen Xers.
They use technology for good, not evil
Lapin touts apps like the Little Budget Diary and Level Money, which make it easier to track spending and create a realistic budget. It’s not about being addicted to ones smartphone, but using it to make life easier.