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Millennials Worse at Handling Money Than Members of Generation Z Says New Survey

59% of Millennials said they felt like they handled their money poorly during the Coronavirus Pandemic compared to just 46% of their younger counterparts.

The generational divide was exposed in a survey conducted on behalf of online loans company Laurel Road, which also showed that 70% of people from both generational groups felt they needed to reset and reevaluate how they handle their money.    

“Covid-19 has been challenging for us all. For millennials and Gen Z-ers, they too have faced many challenges, but in turn, the pandemic has also prompted an opportunity for a financial reset,” said Alyssa Schaefer, Chief Experience Officer at Laurel Road. 

Respondents also shared the top ways they invested in themselves during the pandemic, with 32% putting money toward personal wellness and 25% investing in their professional development by getting certified in additional skills.

A quarter of those surveyed also said they had put more money toward mental health resources as well as attending webinars or online courses to progress their professional development.

Schaefer said: “What’s encouraging to see from our survey results is that so many people have used this time to prioritize their personal finance, including by refinancing their student loans, and actively look to learn new ways to budget and save.

“Investing in personal well-being is always important and something we believe in strongly at Laurel Road. Right now, it’s never been more crucial to focus on our ‘mental wealth’ – daily personal, professional and financial decisions that support our peace of mind. Making impactful changes to financial planning, such as student loan refinance, can create beneficial savings opportunities, and we’re proud to provide options that do this for our customers.”

The new study asked 2,000 Generation Z and millennial Americans, about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and 2020 as a whole on their personal finances.

52% of respondents said they wish they did a better job of handling their money during the pandemic with 37% saying they made more of an effort to save more money when they could.

Respondents who created a budget were 33% and 25% spoke to a financial adviser about their situation. A further 20% of those polled said they refinanced their student loans and 19% consolidated them.

Although nearly seven in 10 respondents said they effectively budgeted their money, given the circumstances of 2020, 60% said they wish they could improve their budgeting skills but they just don’t know where to begin.


  • Gina is a fintech journalist (BA, MA) who works across broadcast and print. She has written for most national newspapers and started her career in BBC local radio.

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