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Passion More Important Than Paycheck, Seattle Millennials Say

Bank of America Better Money Habits® Millennial Report Finds That Young Adults in Seattle Prioritize Jobs With Personal Purpose Over Salary, but Finances Are Still a Source of Stress

Nearly three quarters of Seattle millennials believe passion is more important than salary in their career, according to the new Better Money Habits® Millennial Report released by Bank of America today. Seventy-two percent of Seattle millennials say that personal interest or passion is more important than the size of their paycheck, compared to 56 percent of millennials nationally.

The report, which surveyed 23- to 37-year-olds, also found that 67 percent of Seattle millennials wish they had chosen a job with a better work/life balance, and 47 percent wish they had chosen a job they enjoyed more.

Even if money isn’t their main motivator, Seattle millennials are more likely to stress about their finances than their peers nationally. Thirty-four percent of Seattle millennials often worry about finances, compared to 25 percent nationally. Their biggest financial stressors are not putting enough money into savings (37 percent), credit card debt (20 percent), not planning/saving for retirement (19 percent), and the cost of everyday items like groceries (19 percent).

Asked to name the top obstacles to financial freedom in Seattle, millennials here named housing costs (61 percent), day-to-day living expenses (48 percent) and health care costs (19 percent).

“Seattle can be a pricey place to live, especially for millennials who are just starting out in their careers,” said Michael Gonzalez, Small Business Banking manager, Bank of America. “While many millennials indicate they’d choose a job with purpose over a big paycheck, they still need to pay the bills and want to buy homes. Better Money Habits offers resources that help millennials better understand where their money is going so they can, among other things, make the most of their personal finances.”

Better Money Habits is Bank of America’s free financial education platform. It features easy-to-understand information and tools to navigate personal finance topics like spending and budgeting, home ownership, taxes and income, and more. The Better Money Habits Millennial Report explores millennials’ views on personal finance matters to give insight into the unique financial milestones they experience as young adults. This is the fifth installment of the report, which has been published since 2014.

Despite high cost of living, Seattle millennials are saving and budgeting

While money may not be the driving factor in their careers, Seattle millennials are still attentive to their finances and displaying important habits – like saving and budgeting – that are on par with or better than millennials across the country.

  • In Seattle, 67 percent of millennials are saving and 66 percent have a savings goal, compared to 57 percent nationally. It’s not all talk, either: 70 percent of Seattle millennials who have a savings goal usually meet it.
  • Seattle millennials are budgeting at a higher rate than their national peers, and most who budget say they stick to it. Sixty-nine percent of Seattle millennials budget, compared to 54 percent nationally, and 72 percent of them stick to their budget every month or most months, on par with 73 percent nationally.

Also, 48 percent of Seattle millennials have $15,000 or more in savings. Their top reasons for saving are to have an emergency fund (56 percent), retirement (43 percent) and vacation/travel (35 percent).

At home, money is a source of tension for Seattle millennials

Millennial couples in Seattle are more likely to say that finances cause friction at home. Thirty-three percent of Seattle millennials say that money/finances are the top source of tension in their household, compared to 25 percent of millennials nationally.

As parents, Seattle millennials are also more likely to consider finances to be an important factor when thinking about having children than their peers nationwide. Thirty-six percent say that financial considerations played a major role in their decision to start a family, compared to 30 percent of their peers nationally. [24×7]

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