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- Millennials are more open to talking about money than their parents, according to a new survey by Insider and Morning Consult for “The State of Our Money.”
- More than 80% of married millennial and baby boomer respondents said they share financial info with their spouse, but the similarities stop there.
- Millennials are more likely to discuss their finances with friends, siblings, and coworkers.
- Talking about money helps people make better financial decisions and set realistic goals.
- Read more personal finance coverage.
A new survey by Insider and Morning Consult polled 2,096 Americans about their financial health, debt, and earnings for a new series, “The State of Our Money.” More than 670 respondents were millennials, defined as ages 23 to 38 in 2019; 730 respondents were baby boomers, defined as ages 55 to 73 in 2019.
The survey asked all respondents who they share their financial information with, including salary and savings. Eighty-eight percent of married millennials have shared how much money they have with their spouse, on par with the 87% of boomers who have done the same.
But the similarities stop there. Millennials are much more open about money than their parents are.
Thirty percent of millennials share financial info with their friends, compared to just 9% of boomers; 25% of millennials share financial info with their siblings, but 12% of boomers do the same; and 12% of millennials talk to their colleagues about money, whereas only 2% of boomers do.
When it comes to sharing their finances with family, millennials are also more likely to do so – 46% talk to their parents about it, while 24% of boomers talk to their kids about it.
While married respondents of any generation are overwhelmingly most likely to share with their spouses, it’s worth noting that when boomers do share financial info with someone aside from their spouse, it’s most likely with their kids. And when millennials do discuss their finances outside of their marriage, it’s most likely with their parents.
Talking about money helps others become more financially literate
That younger generations are more open to talking about money signifies a shift in what has historically been seen as a taboo topic.
Millennials recognize the many benefits of being open about their finances. “Knowledge is power and people tend to feel a huge sense of relief from discussing their situation and possibly fears with regard to money,” Greg Heller, founder and CEO of HCR Wealth Advisors in Los Angeles, told NBC News. “This in turn allows them to make better decisions, avoid critical mistakes, set attainable goals and demystify the subject of money.”
New York Jets linebacker Brandon Copeland, who saves almost all of his estimated $1.2 million salary, has a similar mindset. He teaches a financial-literacy class he nicknamed “Life 101” at his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. His goal, he previously told Business Insider, is to share the financial knowledge he’s learned with as many people as possible.
Copeland aims to make students more comfortable and knowledgeable when talking about money and encourages them to talk to mentors and parents about it. Having open conversations helps those involved build their own financial situation, he said.
When it comes to setting yourself up financially, “it’s all about access to info and sharing it,” he said. “[It’s] not what you do with your own stuff, but how you bring other people up with you.”