There are lots of stereotypes about Millennials: that they spend all their money on avocado toast, that they all believe they’re special, or that they spend most of their time mooching off their parents. Many commentators worry that this generation of young adults is ill equipped to build a steady future for themselves. While the underlying assumptions of some of these myths may be true, this young generation has its eyes on the future.

They are less satisfied than other Americans with their current financial situation. The heavy burden of student loans and intense competition in the job market makes it hard for millennials to be content with the amount in their bank accounts.

A leading cause of this dissatisfaction is having high expectations of life, and life’s failure to meet this expectations is producing some unhappy millennials.

Millennials are much more optimistic about their future financial situation than the general population.

This optimism is the product of circumstance—Millennials are young and the world is their oyster. The rest of the population—having roamed the planet for a bit longer—might simply have a more realistic understanding of the economy and their future earnings potential. But there is another explanation that holds weight. For their entire adult lives, Millennials have known a healthy and improving economy so are more likely to see that upward trajectory as fixed rather than temporary. This contrasts with other Americans, who were already in adulthood and therefore acutely felt the effects of the pendulum known as the global economy. They view the economy’s recent upward trend as one part of the natural ebbs and flows of the economy in general.

They have goals and hope to reach them, but Millennials are going to have to figure out how to get from where they are today to where they want to be in their financial future.

The most stunning set of responses proving that Millennials are lagging financially was to the question of how people would pay for an unexpected expense of $500. At 19.5%, Millennials are nearly three  imes more likely than other Americans to ask help from friends or family. The conclusion that Millennials are not sufficiently healthy financially was supported again in regards to their lack of understanding of retirement, credit scores, and credit cards.

More than half (51.6%) of Millennials responded that they are not contributing to their retirement accounts. This, despite numerous reporting and studies that show the importance of early investing in retirement accounts, indicates that millennials need some financial course correcting.

Lack of knowledge of credit scores
A person’s credit score guides them in life, it determines the rates of loans and mortgages, and it’s even being used in job interviews and by landlords to test if people will make good tenants. These findings are solid evidence that Millennials need to become cognizant of the financial concepts that impact them most.

Millennials are more than twice as likely (35%) as the general population to completely avoid using credit cards

Along with the data that shows that Millennials don’t know their credit score, this indicates that Millennials can better understand the value of responsible credit card use in raising their credit score, which will help them throughout the entirety of their financial futures.

The survey, conducted in 2018, was jointly carried out with Survey Monkey based on a representative sample of more than 600 people in the United States that are managing their finances