Millennials Spend Money They Don’t Have To Keep Up With Friends, Survey Finds

credit karma millennial friend debt study


We all have that one friend who can convince us to shell out extra cash for that brunch we don’t need to go to. While the YOLO aspect of that friendship might be exciting, seeing our bank accounts dip below a reasonable level is the painful aftermath we face again and again. As it turns out, we’re not alone in the struggle. A Credit Karma survey found that 39 percent of millennials engage in activities that they can’t afford in order to keep up with friends.

The survey, which analyzed responses of 1,045 U.S. millennials, found that not only did over a third say they’ve gone into debt to appease expensive friends, but of this group, 73 percent reported keeping the debt a secret from their pals.

Unsplash/Dan Gold

So, why are we doing this to ourselves? Twenty-seven percent of participants felt uncomfortable saying no to the plans or felt like they were going to miss something important. Enter: FOMO, which stands for “fear of missing out.”┬áIt’s anxiety brought on by the thought of something important happening and not being there. The feeling is only heightened by seeing your friend’s bomb pics on Insta.

Ultimately, it seems that the FOMO is too real for us to give up our overspending habits when hanging with our pricey crew. Thirty-six percent of participants said they doubt they can attend their friends’ events in the next year without going into debt. Bleak, huh?

Our advice? Chances are, that dinner you can’t afford isn’t going to be groundbreaking, at least not groundbreaking enough for your bank account to suffer. Your financial health is important, guys! That matters more than your friend’s friend’s boyfriend’s $90 brunch.


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