Millennials: Creative, Ambitious, Financial Optimists? 70% of Millennials Expect Financial Outlook to Improve In the Next Six Months

Millennials have also achieved an average of 49% of their 2015
savings goals, 40% more than they had at this time last year

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–When it comes to finances, more than half (53% vs. 45% in 2014) of
Americans expect a greener outlook in the next six months, and this
optimism is strongest among Millennials (70% vs. 64% in 2014) according
to the American
Express Spending & Saving Tracker
. With job and
financial confidence high, Americans are comfortably spending and
adequately saving. For the second year in a row, employed Americans are
reporting that they feel more stable in their jobs than they did a year
ago (34% vs. 25% in 2014).


Download the American
Express Spending & Saving Tracker

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen consumer spend confidence improve
steadily,” said Jed Scala, Senior Vice President, Consumer Lending at
American Express. “Millennials especially are feeling more optimistic
than ever, and they are apparently ahead of the savings game, too.”

Millennials Are Growing Up

The generation known for creativity and self-expression can now be
praised for something else: financial smarts. Millennials, on average,
have achieved 49% of their year’s projected savings, 40% more than they
had at this time last year. This might be due to setting more-realistic
goals: In 2014, Millennials projected they would save a total of $12,189
for the year. When asked at the start of 2015 what their projected
savings for the year would be, they revised their projection and
reported $10,063 as the magic number.

Most Millennials feel optimistic about their financial situation: 70%
report they expect that it’s only going to get better over the next six
months, as compared to 53% of the general population. Perhaps that
forward-looking optimism can be attributed to that fact that nearly
twice as many Millennials as the general population are looking to
second jobs to help increase their existing savings (21% vs 11%).

Americans On Track to Save

When asked in January 2015, Americans reported an average savings goal
of $11,292 for the year. During a financial check-in in August,
consumers reported a total average savings of $7,518 – up 5.1% from a
check-in at the same time in 2014. At nearly 70% of their savings goal,
and with three months left of the year, consumers are in a good position
to end the year strong.

When it comes to methods of reaching savings goals, most Americans rely
on their paychecks to fund their savings accounts. However, consumers
are also finding thrifty ways to add more dollars to the bank. For
example, top ways to save include:

Savings Method   Annual Impact (2015 vs. 2014)
Savings from tax return   26% vs. 21%
Reducing spending on luxuries (e.g. morning lattes, manicures)   23% (on par)
Selling items and possessions, e.g. Craigslist, eBay   22% vs. 17%
Saving a portion of bonus   12% vs. 11%
Working a second job   11% vs. 9%
 

Spending Is Up Overall in 2015

While consumers are socking away their savings, they are balancing that
with their discretionary spending. Seventy-four percent of survey
respondents (73% in 2014) have spent more than or the same as they had
planned to at the beginning of the year on discretionary items, such as
leisure, fashion, home, gaming, grooming and computer expenses.

Most Americans experienced “unforeseen” expenses this year (53% vs. 47%
in 2014), such as car trouble, healthcare, other insurance and house-
and education-related items. Despite these unexpected expenses, spending
is expected to rise throughout the holiday season, as most still intend
to spend large between now and the end of the year (71% vs. 62%). Some
of the large items planned for the final months of 2015 include TVs,
furniture and new or used cars.

About the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker

The American
Express Spending & Saving Tracker
research was completed online
among a random sample of 1,505 adults, including the general U.S.
population, as well as an affluent demographic defined by a minimum
annual household income of $100,000. Interviewing was conducted by
Ebiquity, formerly Echo Research, between August 18 -21, 2015. The
results reported in this release have an overall margin of error of +/-
2.5 at the 95 percent level of confidence.

About American Express

American Express (NYSE:AXP) is a global services company, providing
customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich
lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and
connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress,
foursquare.com/americanexpress,
linkedin.com/company/american-express,twitter.com/americanexpress,
and youtube.com/americanexpress.

Key links to products and services: charge
and credit cards
business
credit cards
, Plenti
rewards program
travel
services
gift
cards
prepaid
cards
merchant
services
, corporate
card
 and business
travel
.

About Ebiquity, Plc.

Ebiquity are independent marketing performance specialists. Ebiquity
enables brands across the world to make better informed decisions to
improve their brand and business performance across integrated
communications channels. Learn more at ebiquity.com.

Contacts

American Express
Jane Di Leo, 212-640-8055
jane.e.dileo@aexp.com