KUALA LUMPUR – COVID-19 has had a massive impact on the spending and savings of people across generations, but no group more so than Millennials, (those aged 25 to 44), according to Standard Chartered’s latest global survey.
Around the world, Millennials are the most likely to be struggling to meet day-to-day expenses (41 per cent) and report higher levels of borrowing in the last month (35 per cent). Yet, faced with these challenges, the pandemic has spurred this generation to better prepare for their financial future, encouraging Millennials to make changes to how they manage their money.
In Malaysia, 74% of Millennials have found managing their money more difficult since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Millennials are 107% more likely than those over 45 to feel they don’t have control of their bank balance. Meanwhile, 23% reported that their borrowing has increased in the last month, versus 15% of those aged over 45.
Despite these significant challenges, Millennials are the most likely generation to be in active pursuit of their long-term financial goals. 34% of Malaysian Millennials are saving for a major purchase such as a new car or home (33% globally), compared to 20% of those over 45 (18% globally), while 45%2 are trying to save more for retirement (35% globally), compared to 44% of those over 45 (29% globally).
The Malaysian Millennials are 340% more likely than those over 45 to have started a digital piggy bank
or a coin jar; 65% more likely to have started using a money management or budgeting app; and 150% more likely to have started using a savings or investment app for the first time during the pandemic. 67% had a positive experience in using new ways to manage their money since the start of COVID-19.
This embrace of new technology to help manage money amid the current economic turmoil may be why Millennials are more confident than any other generation that they can achieve their long-term financial goals. More than one-third (36%) of Millennials in Malaysia are more confident than they were before the pandemic started (46% globally).
In contrast, only 21% of Malaysians over 45 feel more confident they’ll reach their financial goals (31% globally), with those over 55 the least confident about achieving their financial goals since the COVID-19 outbreak began.
Meanwhile, across all the generations, the pandemic has made people more careful with their saving and
spending and less likely to splurge. Over half of the respondents (54%) said they would save the cash in
case of an emergency expense, while – in contrast – only 3% said they would use the money for a foreign
Abrar A. Anwar, Managing Director and CEO of Standard Chartered Malaysia said: “Malaysian Millennials are indicating a sense of responsibility with their finances in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no question that the crisis is a formative phenomenon that will shape this generation for the rest of their lives.”
Source: Standard Chartered
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