- Europeans are not taking advantage of their purchasing power and it’s hurting their pockets.
- They are keeping cash in bank accounts for emergencies, despite high inflation.
- Reasons behind this include a lack of trust in the financial system, debt, job insecurity, and lack of financial literacy.
Lack of Trust in Financial System
European millennials came of age during the great recession of 2008. Many have experienced firsthand their parents losing employment, homes or life savings while they saw big banks go unpunished. This has led to a general distrust in Wall Street, banks and the financial system as a whole among millennials. Many believe that traditional financial institutions are not to be trusted and that the system is rigged.
Owning a home is seen as a symbol of security and stability, but with soaring real estate prices across Europe comes long mortgages. Add to that car leases, credit cards and student loans (depending on country), all these debts can make it hard for young people to save and invest as they focus on paying them off first.
Millennials have only ever known a challenging job market with lack of opportunities and stagnating salaries followed by job losses due to COVID-19 pandemic, war in Ukraine and sky-high inflation making it difficult for them to plan for the long term.