They are more conservative with their money at younger ages than previous generations

Millennials choose happiness over money — probably because they make the same amount as college graduates did 10 years ago without high student loan debt.

If they got a pile of cash today, millennials would save it or pay their bills, according to a study on their spending and saving habits from Revere Bank.

The majority of millennials say that if they were handed $15,000 unexpectedly, they would use it to pay their bills or save.

Like many, the biggest saving motivators for millennials are houses, cars or vacations. Though there is a stereotype surrounding this generation’s $1.3 trillion student loan debt that they’ll live with their parents forever, most are still trying to get out of debt and move into their own homes.

According to Revere Bank, almost half of millennials already are homeowners and only 41 percent are currently carrying student debt, compared to the 70 percent who just graduated with a bachelor’s degree.

The skeptical generation

Millennials claim they never had any required financial education courses while in high school and college, but they talk about finances more than older generations.

Specifically they speak with family members, because they don’t trust financial advisers and banks. Financial mistakes their parents have made in the past are good lessons for their futures.

Seeking advice from their parents about saving and budgeting is all well and good, but their parents can’t teach them much when it comes to more specific financial advice like saving for retirement, investing, and credit history. It’s not their fault, they just don’t know that much themselves.

When they aren’t speaking with family about financial advice, they turn to the internet.

While 70 percent of millennials say they seek advice from parents, another 17 percent turn to social media and other online resources.

“Gen Y gives new meaning to the term connected,” says Kathie Andrade, executive VP at TIAA-CREF. “It’s important for them to access financial advice via multiple platforms.”

Growing up during the Great Recession opened their eyes to the importance of savings and education. They have half the amount in savings as their baby boomer counterparts did in 1989, but are also making $10,000 less yearly with a college degree — and the loans to go with.

“A young adult without a college degree in 1989 earned roughly the same income as a college graduate with student debt today,” a study from research group Young Invincibles says.

Entering the workforce with mountains of debt weighing on your back with lower earning capability could encourage you to cut back, save, and get by on less.

Technology helps them save

Aside from using blogs, social media and other online resources for information on finances, millennials are more likely to use applications and other online banking tools.

Sixty-one percent use online features from their banks and 26 percent use budgeting applications on their devices.

Millennials are more likely than other generations to use a bank’s mobile app or other mobile payment apps like Paypal, Google Wallet and Apple Pay. Online tools are a great for this generation because they’re completely hooked to their mobile devices.

Studies have shown that millennials check their phones over 150 times per day, if they’re smart they’ll check on their savings and budgets more than their Snapchat.

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Meet the Author

Joe Pye

Joe Pye

Associate editor

Pye is the associate editor of

Budgeting & Saving

income, millennials, save money, student loans

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Article last modified on June 27, 2017 Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Millennials Out-Save Older Generations - AMP.