Millennial Money Etiquette

Guest Blog Post: Donna Brown, Circle Evangelist, Spokesperson, Unabashed Millennial

There has been a lot of interest lately in how Millennials are using mobile tech in everyday life. From dating, to ordering dinner, to booking travel, it’s the characteristic that sets us most apart from other generations. It’s no surprise that these habits are shaking up how we use money too.

To get the bottom of just how different Millennials are compared to other generations, Circle did a national survey of more than 3,000 people asking questions about banking, payments and social norms.

The results are in, and they show a marked shift in how Millennials use money compared to Gen Xers and Boomers, and how mobile is changing the game. Here are some of the findings:

  • Banks and cash are out, apps are in. Over 60 percent of Millennials said they contact their bank less than twice annually, and more than half haven't been to a bank teller in more than a year. Generally speaking, Millennials don’t carry cash: 24 percent said they carry no cash at all, and 60 percent of those that do carry less than $20.
  • Millennials rely on apps to manage their financial lives, including the social aspect of payments. Millennials have between 1 and 5 apps linked to their bank accounts or credit cards. In contrast, 40 percent of Gen Xers and 50 percent of Boomers don't have any apps linked up to such accounts. About half of Millennials use mobile apps like Circle instead of cash or checks to settle debts or split expenses with friends.
  • People of all generations have friends who owe them money, asking to get paid back is awkward. One in six people are owed more than $100 by their friends. Over 60 percent across generations say asking to get paid make makes them feel awkward, anxious or uncomfortable. Notably, about one in five Millennials say requesting payback with a mobile payment app makes the ask less awkward.
millennial money etiquette


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