Money can be a terrifying, overwhelming presence in your mental real estate.
Whether you’re straining under the weight of debt, fear looking at your bank account, or simply don’t earn enough money to live comfortably, it’s not surprising that managing your personal finance can easily take up the top slot on the list of your biggest causes of stress.
The Covid-19 hasn’t helped matters, ushering in job loss, decreased earnings, and lifestyle changes that have the potential to send your spending into an unhealthy cycle.
So it’s not a shock to learn that millennials have seen a ‘sharp rise’ in money-related anxiety in the last year – but it is helpful to know that if you’re feeling worried about your finances, you’re not the only one.
A new report from Mintel analyses the financial state of older millennials – the ones currently aged 31 to 40.
This group are ‘Britain’s most indebted generation’, says the report, and ‘while pre-pandemic they were fairly relaxed about this status, now there’s been a rapid increase in their anxiety about their current debt levels.
In June 2019, just 27% of older millennials said they were ‘uncomfortable’ with their current level of debt, while in 2020, this jumped up to more than a third (35%).
The Mintel research reveals that 39% of older millennials have unsecured debt of more than £2,000; far above the average of 26% of all UK adults having this same amount of debt.
This group say they have put off making large purchases on credit because of the uncertainty brought on by coronavirus, and that their debt – and the stress associated with it – has had a negative impact on their relationships.
Millennials as a whole (meaning those currently aged between 21 and 40) feel uncertain about their finances.
Those surveyed said they do not trust themselves with debt, and four in ten said they would be too embarrassed to talk to friends and family abou debt – preventing them from asking for help when they need it.
Thomas Slide, senior research analyst, said: ‘Before COVID-19, older Millennials were, by far, the most heavily indebted age group, having relied on unsecured debt over the past few years.
‘Despite this, they had also been fairly relaxed about the scale of their borrowing. The economic shock caused by lockdown has shaken their confidence.
‘As a result, the pandemic looks set to trigger a sea-change moment in Older Millennials’ attitudes towards debt.
‘Many will look to reduce the amount they owe and are likely to adopt a more cautious approach to borrowing and consumer spending even after the crisis has passed.
‘Not only will this pose a threat to overall consumer spending, but it will also mean lenders will need to reassess one of their main target groups.’
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