Millennial women find money to be a far bigger stressor than men their age do. There are some clear reasons why – women hold two-thirds of America’s 1.5 trillion in student debt, for starters. Now, a new survey from Novi Money found that for half women in that age group, money is their top stressor – to the point where simply thinking about money was overwhelming.
Novi Money surveyed 1,000 people ages 18-44, 648 of which were Millennials.
Just over half (51.9%) of Millennial women say that money is the most stressful thing in their lives. And 55.3% say that just thinking about money is overwhelming.
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Men are markedly less overcome by finances; just 43.2% say money is their biggest worry, and only 36.1% find thinking about it to be overwhelming.
This difference is probably because men have more money and less reason to worry – they have 70% more than women saved in retirement accounts, 29% more in savings accounts, and they have a 36% higher balance in their checking accounts.
There are a few reasons that women find money to be their number one stressor, according to Novi Money.
- One is a high amount of consumer debt such as credit card debt, auto loans, and personal loans – the women who are highly strained over finances owe debt four times more than women who are not vexed over money.
- Having fewer assets tends to contribute to financial stress. The 51.9% of women who said money was the most stressful thing in their lives tended to have lower checking and savings account balances that women who were neutral or disagreed with that statement.
- Millennial women are less financially confident. Only half (50.5%) of Millennial women agree with the statement, “I feel confident that I’m making the right financial decisions,” while 63.5% of Millennial men agree.
“There’s two big takeaways,” Shannon Mosier, founder and COO of Novi Money, told Ladders. Firstly, the data shows that Millennial women “don’t just make less money, they build less wealth than their male counterparts, they have less in checking, savings, and retirement. They’re more overwhelmed and stressed about money than men. That falls into the lack of confidence, and they feel like they don’t have anybody to talk to.”
Mosier told Ladders that more financial education, preferably starting in high school, is needed. The problem that Millennial women face with finances is a “compounded problem that needs to be solved through better, accessible financial education, particularly for women.”
Secondly is “figuring out how to help these people make better financial decisions,” said Mosier. While confidence seems to relate to how much you have in the bank – checking, savings, and retirement – “that doesn’t correlate at all with debt. People who may be making very poor financial decisions from a debt perspective may still be very confident.”
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