The majority (87%) of under-35s say that being financially secure is a vital part of ‘adulting’, according to a new survey commissioned by payments company Zip. However, three in ten (29%) report feeling less financially secure now compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic, and a third (33%) say this is because they have never felt financially secure.
Millennials in particular are often unfairly portrayed as overly frivolous with money – with stereotypes about avocado toast and expensive coffee unfairly clouding how the generation is perceived. According to Zip, the reality is very different. Overall, 61% of under-35s surveyed said they regularly worry about money, with unexpected home expenses (47%) and saving for a home deposit (43%) topping the list of concerns. Among the top ‘adulting’ priorities for under 35s are home improvements (42%) and starting a family (36%) – serious investments that require financial confidence and capability.
Anthony Drury, UK Managing Director at Zip, said: “It is clear that an entire generation of consumers are regularly worrying about money matters. Under-35s feel financially insecure and are worried that they’re falling short on ‘adulting’. The financial system has a duty to provide accessible, flexible tools for life which enable all of us to achieve our life goals, from buying a home to starting a family.”
When asked about financial tools they had used in the past 12 months, one in five (21%) reported using a Buy Now, Pay Later service. The most common reasons for this were the ability to spread the purchase over time (49%), buy items interest-free (35%) and manage cash flow (35%). Among under-35s, one-in-ten said they had used the service for big ticket investments like home improvements.
Anthony Drury commented: “Buy Now, Pay Later should be seen as a key part of how people shop and pay for vital goods and services today. It’s less about frivolous purchases and more about taking control of your finances and growing your understanding of how money works.
“As Buy Now, Pay Later providers we have a responsibility to build better, fairer products for our customers to ensure they feel informed and in control of their financial future. We can’t ask anyone to buy now, if they can’t afford to pay later.”
While the majority of under-35s (82%) understand Buy Now, Pay Later, a significant number (29%) report feeling confused by credit cards and APR. In fact, one in ten said banks should provide Buy Now, Pay Later services to existing customers as an alternative to credit cards. There is also support for those who use the service without incurring late fees having it positively reflected in their credit score, with 34% agreeing.