It turns out lifestyle is important to millennials at the cost of not paying down student debt or saving for retirement. In a recent survey by Providence, RI based Citizens Bank, as reported by Reuters and picked up by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Fewer than half (47 percent) of millennials, those in the 18-35 age group, who are college graduates, would be willing to limit their online food delivery in return for reducing their student loans.
Other priorities? Concerts, sporting events and lattes, as well as travel and vacations.
The prospect of limiting any of these luxuries got the “no thanks” from the majority of millennials who were asked if they would cut back to lower their student loans. The same holds true for cutting Internet service.
Despite being so unwilling to give up life’s little pleasures, more than half (57 percent) said they regret taking out as many student loans as they did, and about a third said they would not have even gone to college if they knew how much it was going to cost them.
That is a big conflict, says Brendan Coughlin, president of consumer lending at Citizens Bank.
“They are very committed to living their life the way they want to live their life, and as frustrated as they are by student loans, they are not willing to make those lifestyle trade-offs,” he said.
Part of the problem may be one of denial and math. The same survey found that nearly half of millennials (45 percent) with student loans do not even know how much of their annual salary they spend on them. It is 18 percent on average, for the record.
On the upside, the vast majority do at least know what they owe — over $40,000 for most. But more than a third (37 percent) are clueless on the interest rate they pay.