Parent Trap: Nearly Half of Adult Gen Zers Getting Financial Help from Mom & Dad, According to BofA Study

PR Newswire
Wednesday, July 10, 2024 at 1:00pm UTC

Parent Trap: Nearly Half of Adult Gen Zers Getting Financial Help from Mom & Dad, According to BofA Study

PR Newswire

Better Money Habits® Survey Indicates Younger Americans are Delaying Milestones and Implementing Lifestyle Changes to Adapt to Today's Economic Realities

CHARLOTTE, N.C., July 10, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, 46% of Gen Zers (ages 18-27) rely on financial assistance from parents and family, according to new research from Bank of America America's Better Money Habits® financial education team. In addition, 52% of those surveyed said they don't make enough money to live the life they want and cite the cost of living as a top barrier to financial success. Many said they are delaying milestones and are not on track to buy a home (50%), save for retirement (46%), or start investing (40%) within the next five years – even though they are working toward those goals.

To offset growing expenses, the study found that two-thirds (67%) are implementing lifestyle changes such as cutting back on dining out (43%), passing on events with friends (27%), and shopping at more affordable grocery stores (24%). A recent Bank of America Institute analysis further demonstrated these findings, noting Gen Z and Millennials are "trading down" to combat rising costs – this despite a strong labor market over the last few years.

Watch a video message from Holly O'Neill, President of Retail Banking

"Though faced with obstacles driven by the cost of living, younger Americans are showing discipline and foresight in their saving and spending patterns," said Holly O'Neill, President of Retail Banking at Bank of America. "It is critical that we continue to empower Gen Z to work toward achieving financial health and meeting their long-term goals."

Getting Support and Saying No
Despite their greater discipline, amidst today's high cost of living, Gen Z remains financially dependent on others. Over half (54%) don't pay for their own housing. Of those who do (46%), nearly two-thirds (64%) report spending over 30% of their monthly paycheck on housing, and two-in-10 report contributing over 51% of their monthly paycheck to housing.

The new Better Money Habits research found that "loud budgeting" – being vocal with friends about what social outings they can and cannot afford – has helped Gen Z live within their means. More than one-third (38%) feel comfortable declining social opportunities and admitting it is because they can't afford the expense. Similarly, 63% do not feel pressured by friends to overspend, indicating that Gen Z may be drawing firmer financial boundaries compared to other generations at the same age.

Saving Struggles
Gen Z continue to struggle with building savings and contributing to their retirement.

  • Over half (57%) of respondents do not have enough emergency savings to cover three months of expenses.
  • Nearly one-third (30%) feel they don't make enough money to save.
  • Only 15% of Gen Z put a set percentage of their paycheck into a savings account each month. Just 1 in 5 contribute to a 401(k) plan or retirement account.

Additional Insights from the Survey:

  • Most Gen Z respondents shared that they feel equipped to handle financial basics, such as managing their day-to-day expenses (70%), sticking to a budget (70%) and building/managing credit (66%).
  • The vast majority (82%) of Gen Z have financial goals, and over half (51%) are prioritizing them.
  • Gen Z continues to use their leftover income on experiential spending like dining out (36%), shopping (30%) and entertainment (24%) – higher than other generations.
  • 61% of Gen Z women said the high cost of living is a barrier to financial success, vs. 44% of men.

For more details, please see the full report (PDF).

This survey was conducted April 17May 3, 2024, by Ipsos in both English and Spanish and is based on nationally representative probability samples of 1,097 general population adults (age 18 or older) and a partially overlapping sample of 1,091 Gen Z adults (age 18-27), including 37 Gen Z adults from a non-probability sample. This survey was conducted primarily using the Ipsos KnowledgePanel®, the largest and most well-established online probability-based panel that is representative of the adult US population. The margin of sampling error for the general population sample is +/- 3.1 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

Better Money Habits
At Bank of America, we're committed to helping people lead better financial lives by equipping them with the skills, knowledge and confidence to succeed. That's why we created Better Money Habits, a financial education platform of tools and information that helps people make sense of their money and take action to improve. As a cornerstone of Better Money Habits, we offer free financial education content and tools that break down financial topics in a way that's approachable and easy to understand. We continually look for ways to expand the reach of Better Money Habits and also offer Spanish language resources on the site.

Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 69 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 3,800 retail financial centers, approximately 15,000 ATMs (automated teller machines) and award-winning digital banking with approximately 57 million verified digital users.  Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services.  The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

For more Bank of America news, including dividend announcements and other important information, visit the Bank of America newsroom and register for news email alerts.

Reporters may contact:

Susan Atran, Bank of America
Phone: 1.646.599.3300


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SOURCE Bank of America Corporation