Millennials tighten grip on finances

Survey says millennials likely to pursue long-term financial goals with 34% savings for a new car or home


AROUND 74% of Malaysian millennials are having difficulties in managing their finances since the outbreak of Covid-19, according to Standard Chartered’s latest global survey.

The survey said millennials are 107% more likely to feel they have no control over bank balances compared to those over the age of 45, while 23% reported an increase in borrowings in the last month, compared to 15% of those aged 45 and above.

Despite this, the survey revealed that millennials are also most likely to actively pursue long-term financial goals with 34% savings for a new car or home, compared to 20% of those above 45 years old.

“About 45% of millennials are trying to save more for retirement compared to 44% of those over the age of 45. To meet these ambitions, half of Malaysian millennials want to better track and budget their spending with 61% stating a need to change the budget for daily spending, while 28% started using a new money management or budgeting app since the pandemic began,” the survey said.

Standard Chartered Bank (M) Bhd MD and CEO Abrar A Anwar said millennials are indicating a sense of responsibility with finances particularly due to the pandemic.

“There is no question that the crisis is a formative phenomenon which will shape this generation for the rest of their lives. Millennials are passionate about their causes and not afraid to push the envelope,” he said.

Additionally, 340% of millennials are more likely to have started a digital piggy bank, compared to those aged 45 and above.

“An additional 67% had a positive experience in using new ways to manage money since the start of Covid-19,” the survey said.

The use of technology is possibly the reason why millennials are showing confidence in reaching long-term goals, as more than one third or 36% are more confident than before the pandemic hit.

In contrast, only 21% of Malaysians aged over 45 feel more confident in reaching financial goals, with those aged over 55 being the least confident about achieving financial goals since the Covid-19 outbreak began.

Meanwhile, the survey also said globally and across all generations, the pandemic has made people more cautious with savings and spending.

“Over half of the respondents (54%) said they would save the cash in case of an emergency expense, while in contrast, only 3% said they would use the money for an overseas holiday,” the survey said.