Lazy, coddled, broke. While most Millennials stereotypes are unfair generalizations, a few ring true.

Generational stereotypes are hard to shake. Millennials know this better than anyone these days.

We’re apathetic, entitled, overeducated and underemployed—destined to mooch off our parents forever.

Let’s find out which stereotypes are myths and which are based in reality.

1. Millennials expect to get high paying jobs right out of college—False

When I was in college, I never heard a single one of my classmates say they expected to get a high paying job immediately after graduation. Most of us knew we were doomed to move back in with our parents and get jobs at low-paying non-profits, coffee shops, or continue on to grad school in a desperate attempt to get the degree that would actually qualify us for most of the high paying jobs currently on the market.

Over and over again, Millennials have been called the most entitled, narcissistic generation that expects to get everything handed to them on a silver platter—especially jobs.

This is simply not true. Most Millennials don’t believe their skills are better than then their older peers, and don’t believe they are more qualified or deserve higher paying jobs any more than other college educated adults.

On the other hand, the same data shows that nearly half of adults over 60 believe their skills, particularly their writing skills, far surpass those of Millennials.

2. Most Millennials still live with their parents—False

Coming from a Millennial who is just now in the process of moving out of his parent’s house, this may sound a little hypocritical, but no, not all Millennials live with their parents.

Yes, more of us live with our parents than previous generations (although, older generations live with their parents more frequently than ever before, as well), but that’s doesn’t mean all of us do. Studies show that 36 percent of Millennials live with their parents. But this also includes those who live in college dorms and return home for vacations.

Millennials don’t live with their parents because they’re lazy and think it’s fun to move back home (trust me, nearly all of us would prefer to be living elsewhere). College is the main factor that makes Millennials return home. With the largest percent of people in college, it’s more financially practical to stay at home between the ages of 18-24 while still in school. Also, nearly all Millennials who attend college have debt after graduating and it can be difficult to balance that debt and living expenses.

Young people moving back home is not a new phenomenon. In fact, the only generation that routinely left home at 18 was the post-WWII generation.

Marriage is also a key factor. Older generations got married younger and at higher rates, so they moved out and shared expenses with their spouse. Millennials are marrying less frequently and at older ages. It would be costlier to live alone, making it less feasible to do so.

Related: 4 Ways To Make Living With Your Parents Less Painful

3. Millennials are materialistic—False

Millennials like shopping almost as much as they like Youtube videos featuring cute animals.

Actually, the opposite is true (about the shopping, not the animal videos—those are awesome). The growing fad of minimalism is entirely due to Millennials and their desire and need to live with less.

Minimalism is often viewed as a privileged fad for the rich who realize they can’t find happiness in their million dollar cars and houses. I’m not saying those people don’t exist, but for Millennials, minimalism has been a refuge—a way to focus on experiences rather than things in a world where most Millennials just can’t afford to have a lot of material possessions.

Millennials’ student debt combined with an increase in unemployment, has led to Millennials being one of the poorest generations in years. They don’t buy cars as frequently as their parents’ generation and definitely don’t buy houses as often. Compared to other generations, Millennials have far fewer expensive possessions.

4. Millennials are broke—True, sort of

As I said, Millennials are one of the poorest generations, but not all Millennials are broke. They simply earn less than previous generations. Millennials earn now what they would have earned had they lived during the 80s. Since living costs were much lower in the 80s, this wouldn’t have been such an issue, but now that the cost of living has skyrocketed Millennials are left with low wages and no place to live.

I keep bringing up that Millennials are in much more debt than previous generations. This isn’t because I’m a Millennial and like to complain about all my problems, but because debt is a large reason behind nearly all Millennial money problems. This debt is, of course, thanks to college degrees. Degrees were worth more in the job market years ago, but with the rise in the number of people getting degrees, there’s a larger competition to face.

5. Millennials are bad at saving money—True (but it’s not just us)

This is another “we know how, but don’t” scenario. Yes, it’s true that Millennials simply don’t save as much as Gen Xers or Baby Boomers, but this not just a Millennial trait.

“Young adults (not matter what generation) have never been good at saving, and they are no worse at it today than 15 or 20 years ago..”

And it’s not just young people. Americans as a whole have been saving less since the 1980s.

There’s a long list of reasons why, but we save less, in part, due to the severe mistrust of banks that have developed in recent years. No one goes to banks to ask questions, least of all Millennials. This leads to an ongoing lack of knowledge of how many financial products work, from retirement accounts to mortgages.

In addition, 59 percent of Millennials also say they find that most financial products aren’t marketed towards them, so they’re less likely to use them. Luckily, there’s been a rise in FinTech companies geared almost exclusively towards Millennials that advertise saving as a key feature. We’ll see if anything changes as a result.

6. Millennials are job hoppers—False

Younger people change jobs more frequently than older people, that’s just a fact, but there’s a claim that all Millennials stay at their jobs for a few months until they get bored and are on to the next one.

Again, this is just not true. Most Millennials ages 20-24 have been at their jobs for 16 months or more. Often, Millennials have a difficult time finding better opportunities and stay at their current jobs, fearing unemployment.

As for the Millennials who have changed jobs frequently in the last few years, they’re the ones who have found higher paying jobs with better benefits.

In certain instances, job hopping is actually a good thing.

7. Millennials have a hard time negotiating salary—True

This one is true. Only 38 percent of Millennials negotiate their first salary.

Often, Millennials are afraid negotiating will make them seem too pushy. Or they fear losing that one job that actually called them back for a follow up interview.

Also, college educated women are entering the workforce in much higher numbers due to the fact that more women go to college these days than men. Women are much less likely to negotiate salaries than their male counterparts, and even if they do negotiate they are more likely to get their negotiations rejected.

Related: How To Negotiate Anything (Even If You’re Shy And Afraid!)

8. Millennials don’t have good credit—True

Unfortunately, this is also true. TransUnion found that 43 percent of millennials typically have bad credit or no credit at all.

Chalk this up to the fact that we’re young and just don’t have a long credit history, but even older Millennials shy away from credit-building opportunities like having credit cards for fear of being thrown into even more debt.

There are also Millennials that are trying to avoid debt all together and strictly use debit cards for all their purchases, making sure they can’t spend more than they make. This is great in theory, but in practice, using debit cards all of the time and avoiding all situations with the potential for debt lead to having no credit whatsoever. This can be equally as bad as having bad credit because it’s nearly impossible to rent an apartment, take out a mortgage, or get a car loan with no credit history.

Understanding how credit works and how to build credit responsibly is the best way to ensure you’ll be able to reach different financial goals down the road—and no, you do not have to go into debt to do it. Luckily, we’re here to help!


Like all generational stereotypes, there are some Millennial stereotypes that are true, but there are plenty that are false. With a rise in degrees but not necessarily in wages, Millennials are faced with debt and rising living expenses on little income.

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About the author

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Christopher Murray is a professional personal finance and sustainability writer who enjoys writing about everything from budgeting to unique investing options like SRI and cryptocurrency. He also focuses on how sustainability is the best savings tool around. You can find his work on sites like MoneyGeek, Money Under 30, Investor Junkie, MoneyCrashers, and Time. You can find out more about Christopher on his website or via LinkedIn.