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Millennial Men Say They’re Good With Finances. So Why Are Their Parents Paying the Bills?

Do millennials have a realistic picture of how good they’re doing when it comes to their finances? Studies indicate that there’s a gender gap here. Millennial men and women tend to see themselves quite differently when it comes to this issue. Certain studies suggest that the young men in particular might overestimate themselves when it comes to their own money savvy.

Money Matters: Millennial Men vs. Women

CNBC recently shared the interesting results of  an annual MetLife study on this topic. They found that the women are “lagging behind” in some important areas.

When it comes to emergency savings, millennial women simply don’t have as much. According to this survey, 70% of men have three months’ worth of emergency saving. In contrast, fewer than 50% of women have that same amount.

These women are also more likely to be living paycheck-to-paycheck, although the gap here isn’t quite so big. 55% of women fall into this category while only 44% of men do.

Therefore, it makes sense that millennial women generally feel less in control of their finances. The report says that 54% of millennial women say that they’re confident that they’re in control of their finances. In comparison, more than 75% of men have this confidence.

Are Parents Paying Millennial Men’s Bills?

Are millennial men overestimating themselves when it comes to that financial confidence? Think about it. If 44% of them are living paycheck-to-paycheck but 76% of them feel that they’re in control of their finances, then something seems a little unrealistic.

This brings us to another interesting report. Quartz shared the results of a Merrill Lynch investigation into how much financial support parents are providing to adult children aged 18-34. Of course, this number includes a few of the post-millennials or Gen Zers in there, but mostly it’s looking at millennials.

Parents are definitely supporting these adult children. The study found that 70% of young adults got some money from their parents within the last year. Moreover, nearly 60% reported that they couldn’t afford their lives without that support.

Among the Gen Zers and the younger millennials, the financial support seems fairly even for men and women. However, as these millennials get into their 30s, there’s a gender gap. Less than 50% of women continue receiving financial help from parents into their 30s. In contrast, 62% of those 30+ millennial men are relying on their parents for some funds.

Are Millennial Women More Realistic About Their Money?

There seems to be some kind of disconnect here for the millennial men. To recap, more than 40% of them live paycheck-to-paycheck. More than 60% of them rely on their parents for money. Among the younger people in group, that latter number is closer to 70%. And yet, 75% of men report that they feel confident about their finances.

Are women just more realistic about their money? They face more financial struggles than their male counterparts. Women earn less money than men. CNBC reports that nearly half of millennial women earn less than 50%. In comparison, less than one quarter of millennial men report earnings so low. At the same time, women tend to graduate school with more debt than men do. So it’s no wonder that more women are living paycheck-to-paycheck. It seems quite realistic for them to feel that they aren’t in control of their finances.

But what’s going on for the guys? Does higher income, lower student debt, and a seeming comfort with taking money from their parents simply make them feel more confident about money?

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Kathryn Vercillo

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