Earlier this month, the Otaga Daily Times of New Zealand wrote an article saying “Gen Y was the most money conscious generation”. They had research to back up it: a survey of 10,000 by Retail Financial Intelligence suggested Millennials were “the most money conscious and financially savvy generation following recent global turndown”.
Research in the U.S. by Microsoft last August found a similar pattern of financial sophistication and even “cynicism” among America’s Gen Y:
The survey, conducted by Washington-based KRC Research in August, found that people born between 1981 and 2000 have developed a cynical view of banks and investment firms after the near-collapse of companies such as American International Group and Citigroup. Of those surveyed, 67% said they’re wary of stocks because of the weak economy, and 82% are concerned that more financial institutions will fail. Fifty-one percent said they’re unlikely to put money in 401(k) plans or other retirement accounts.
More recently, Fidelity reported research that found Millennials were becoming more conservative with money, even as they cope with massive debt from credit cards and college loans.
End of the year posts from many Millennials are speaking proudly f their fiscal restraint in 2009, and intention to continue on the path of responsibility in 2010. Here’s Matt Chevy of the popular Gen Y blog, “Life Without Pants“:
The marketers most in tune with what Millennials need in financial services is Mint.com. The company was acquired last month by personal finance giant, Intuit for $170 million. As part of the deal, Mint.com’s Gen Y founder, Aaron Patzer, became general manager of Intuit’s entire personal finance group, “responsible for Mint.com and all Quicken online, desktop and mobile offerings.” This suggests Intuit understands the importance of online tools and mobile accessibility to Gen Y. According to the Microsoft study, “Millennials prefer to conduct their banking through personalized Web portals and smart-phone applications. They also favor new methods of business communication, such as online chats.”
Based on a look around its web site, Mint.com fits the bill, so to speak, nicely. It provides an easy-to-use, FREE interface for tracking online one’s entire financial picture in one place. In addition, Mint promises to save its customers money byMint has over 1.5 million users and claims to have over $50 Billion in assets, as well s $200 million in tracked purchases. Not bad for a two year old company — and testimony to the value of the service.
What I like best about Mint.com is that it feels almost like a game. There are built in satisfactions to saving money and Mint makes it fun to see how you can “win” by saving more. Of course, it wouldn’t work if Millennials didn’t already have the desire to save. Kudos to those who actually put the desire into action.