Who’s the best at feeding the piggy bank? You might be surprised.

Posted On January 21, 2018

Quick question: Which generation would you think is doing the best at saving for the future?

Baby Boomers? They’re the closest to retirement, and therefore the benefits of saving should be most immediate to them. Generation X? They’re in their peak earning years, and should have the most resources from which to feed the piggy bank.

Either would seem to make sense, and either would be wrong. According to a new Discover Bank survey shared on Nasdaq.com and elsewhere, it’s millennials who are doing the best job at saving. In a nation study of over 2,200 people, 81 percent of millennial respondents are saving in some capacity, compared to 77 percent of Baby Boomers and 74 percent of Gen-Xers.

Sure, it may be easier to save while you’re living at home. But the fact that the workplace generation furthest from retirement is saving at a greater rate than the others should also be a wake-up call to Gen-X and Baby Boomers: Don’t slack off now.

Some Baby Boomers are already retiring, of course, and others may be content enough with their portfolios to coast through their final working years. Many Gen-Xers are sending their kids off to college, which would eat up a sizeable portion of funds that might ordinarily be set aside for savings.

But millennials have their own hurdles to clear in order to save, as well – like a higher rate of student loan debt.

Trends are continuing to favor millennials as well. Thirty-five percent of them reported saving more in 2017 than in the previous year, compared to only 25 percent of Gen-Xers and 22 percent of Baby Boomers.

This might be written off as a result of millennial wages rising at a higher rate as they climb their respective company ladders. But the survey also found that 40 percent of millennials surveyed who were saved more in 2017 reported that they were able to do so through a better understanding of how to set up a budget.

If you look hard enough, there is usually something you can cut from your budget in order to increase savings. Perhaps unsurprisingly, millennials were more likely than Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers to save money through taking public transportation, while Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers were more likely to save through eating at home more often or using coupons.

While more than three-fourths of survey respondents were saving in some capacity – with nearly half of those using more than one resource to do so – 17 percent of those who weren’t said they didn’t have a reason for not doing so.

While most of us can certainly relate with the 35 percent who said they didn’t have sufficient income, the 17 percent who said they had too many bills and the 10 percent who said they had too much debt, there’s one very good reason to scour your budget and find a way to put a little something aside: Your retirement isn’t going to pay for itself.

Categories: Financial Services, Generation Y / Millennials, Wealth