Millennials Confident in Their Financial Skills

Despite economic hurdles, the majority thinks they will “make it” financially.

Despite greater economic hurdles Millennials will face compared to their elders—unprecedented student loan debt, unemployment and stagnant wage growth—they are confident that they will “make it” financially. This is according to a survey of 1,100 Americans by TD Bank.

As to how they define “making it” financially, 61% of Americans define that as being debt free. Fifty-four percent classify it as owning a home, and 52% identify it as having an emergency fund. Thirty-three percent consider investing an important milestone, followed by growing their career (30%),  putting their children through college (29%) and graduating from college (28%).

Millennials are more competitive than older generations when it comes to their finances; 45% say it is important to achieve financial success before their friends, compared to only 10% of Baby Boomers and 29% of Gen Xers.

“Millennials have unfairly earned a reputation for being less financially responsible than previous generations,” says Andrea Johnson, head of financial education at TD Bank. “While they may delay traditional milestones like marriage and children, they still aspire to achieve traditional hallmarks of the American dream, including owning a home, getting an education and being debt free.”

As to what advice they would give to others to improve their finances, the majority said, “Don’t spend what you don’t have.” Among those older than 35, it would be to tell 20-somethings to start saving.

Thirty-three percent of Boomers rely on a financial adviser, but 26% of Millennials turn to the Internet.