Malaysia: Millennials have it tough
PETALING JAYA: Most millennials, or 74%, in Malaysia are struggling to meet day-to-day expenses and are borrowing more compared with other age groups since the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic.
They also find it hard to control their bank balances compared with people over the age of 45.
Some of the millennials (about 23%) have increased their borrowings in the last month, versus 15% of those aged over 45, revealed Standard Chartered’s latest global survey.
Millennials are aged 25 to 44, according to the survey. It was conducted across 12 countries covering 12,000 respondents globally.
The pandemic has hit everyone in one way or another and has taught many to conserve cash and be selective in their spending habits.
Acknowledging the problem at hand, 61% (37% globally) of the millennials surveyed in the country said they have changed their daily budgets versus 58% from other age groups.
“Malaysian millennials are indicating a sense of responsibility with their finances in the aftermath of the pandemic. There is no question that the crisis is a formative phenomenon that will shape this generation for the rest of their lives, ’’ Standard Chartered Malaysia managing director/CEO Abrar A. Anwar said.
Despite the challenges, the millennials are the most likely generation to be in active pursuit of their long-term financial goals.
The survey revealed that 34% of Malaysian millennials are saving for a major purchase such as a new car or home (33% globally), compared with 20% of those over 45 (18% globally).
A total of 45% is trying to save more for retirement (35% globally), compared with 44% of people over 45 years old (29% globally).
Having an emergency fund to cover expenses between three and 12 months in case of emergencies is also vital in the event of an emergency.
“Many people globally did not have any emergency funds to ride through the pandemic.
“Now that there is more clarity on the vaccine, it is also about time to relook and reassess one’s financial situation as financial planning is vital and so is setting up emergency funds as emergencies can happen at any time, ’’ said a financial planner.
The survey revealed that across all the generations, the pandemic has made people more careful with their saving and spending.
Over half of the respondents (54%) said they would save money in case of an emergency, while only 3% said they would use it for a foreign holiday.
Malaysian millennials are more likely than those over 45 to have started a digital piggy bank or a coin jar, 65% are also likely to have started using a money management or budgeting app, according to the survey.
People from Hong Kong, India, China, Singapore, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, Taiwan, the UAE, Britain and the United States took part in the survey. The online poll was conducted from Sept 25 to Oct 1.