If there’s one word that dominates conversations about millennials and money, it’s “broke.” This generation cites reasons largely beyond our control, such as soaring tuitions costs and housing prices. Other generations point to lifestyle choices—because apparently the only thing stopping us from buying a home is that avocado toast we all love.
But a new report from the Bank of America shows the cliches about millennials and money are actually unfounded. In fact, millennial parents are making better decisions about money than anyone gives us credit for thanks to our aptitude for anticipating kid-related costs ahead of time.
“It turns out that millennials are actually just as good, or better, than other generations when it comes to managing money, and they are getting their financial houses in order,” writes Andrew Plepler, the Global Head of Environmental, Social and Governance at Bank of America.
According to Plepler, parents between 23 and 37 years old are actually way more aware of the costs of starting a family than our parents were. “Older generations say finances weren’t really a factor in their decision to have kids; millennial parents say the opposite,” Plepler notes, adding that millennials are also more likely than older generations to set savings goals.
Despite the popular notion that millennials are blowing every paycheck on Uber rides and Chipotle, Plepler says this generation feels as financially secure as Generation Xers and Boomers. Better yet, Bank of America’s numbers indicates we’re more likely to ask for raises.
The downside of having money on our minds is that one-in-four millennials “worry often” about their finances, according to the report. Worrying about money doesn’t mean we’re bad with money, though (and neither does buying the occasional latte). Stressing over money isn’t good, but being concerned about our financial futures—and our kids’—is.
“Nearly a quarter of older millennials are already saving for their children’s education—a feat given that so many may still be paying off their own student loans,” Plepler notes.
Paying off our own student debt while simultaneously saving for our kids’ college funds may mean millennial mamas feel “broke” sometimes, but it clearly doesn’t mean we’re bad with money. In fact, maybe it means we deserve to splurge on that avocado toast.