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Varo Money Love and Money Survey: Millennials Are Saving Up and Settling Down

by Varo Bank

June 28, 2017

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Varo Money, Inc., a digital banking app for ambitious, responsible millennials who are hands-off with their money, today announced the release of its Love & Money survey. The survey, fielded to hundreds of millennials, discovered that millennials are prioritizing travel, putting money in the bank and looking for Mr. or Ms. Right.

Millennials in love

According to the survey, more than half (51 percent) of all millennials are currently on the hunt for a mate, with 27 percent looking for a spouse and 23 percent looking for a long-term partner. The rest are keeping it a bit lighter, especially millennial men, 22 percent of whom would like a friend with benefits (compared to 4 percent of women). A further 16 percent of men would like an open relationship (compared to 3 percent of women), and 15 percent would like no-strings-attached sex (compared to 3 percent of women).

A full three-quarters (75 percent) of millennials agree that there are financial benefits to being in a romantic relationship, including:

  •     Living with their partner means cheaper rent – 44 percent
  •     They help each other strategize in their careers – 37 percent
  •     Cooking for two is cheaper – 26 percent
  •     They pay fewer taxes as a married couple – 22 percent
  •     Going on fewer dates saves them money – 16 percent
  •     A partner makes them look good at business events – 6 percent

Millennials are spreadsheet-averse but still saving

More than two-thirds (68 percent) of millennials say they are “hands-off” with their personal finances: they check their bank balances regularly and have a general idea of how much they can spend each month but don’t categorize their spending in Excel or Mint or follow a category-based budget.

Just because they are spreadsheet-averse, however, doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in saving: fully half (50 percent) automatically save a percentage of each paycheck. Another 39 percent are looking for a higher-paying job to facilitate saving, and 36 percent make coffee at home instead of buying lattes.

“Hands-off customers may handle their finances differently than previous generations, but they still think about money and preparing for the future,” said Colin Walsh, co-founder and CEO of Varo Money. “We founded Varo Money for exactly this demographic of people. By providing a full financial picture, proactively notifying customers of their spending patterns and helping them bridge cash traps, Varo is helping millennials achieve their financial goals with a maximum of technological ease and an absolute minimum of hassle.”

Other tactics for getting ahead include going to grad school (13 percent) and giving up avocado toast—a sacrifice more easily made by millennial men (11 percent) than women (3 percent). Millennial men are also more willing to sacrifice romance: 6 percent say they’d be willing to marry up to save some money.

What are they saving for? Property, clothes and cars:

  •     27 percent are saving for a place of their own
  •     12 percent of millennial women are saving for a new wardrobe
  •     11 percent of millennial men are saving for a luxury car

Generation jet set

Travel is also a top priority for millennials, who make use of many travel hacks to save money while traveling:

  •     16 percent make it a priority to apply for credit cards with big mileage bonuses
  •     7 percent use their status from premium credit cards for hotel upgrades
  •     7 percent use airline miles to fly business class
  •     7 percent hire local guides while traveling
  •     6 percent use premium cards for free lounge access

When asked what they would purchase with $2,000 if they could only spend it on one thing, a quarter (25 percent) said plane tickets. Fifty-eight percent also named travel destinations as their favorite topic of conversation. This was followed by:

  •     Sports – 38 percent
  •     Best cocktail bars – 19 percent
  •     Summer fashion – 12 percent
  •     Beard trends – 6 percent

About Varo Money

Varo Money, Inc. (“Varo”), is a digital banking app for the millions of ambitious, responsible millennials who are hands-off with their money and want a bank that’s going to work for them. Varo is building a banking app that helps customers cover their expenses, pay their bills, and build their wealth over time—so they can stop worrying about their money and get on with living their lives. Unlike traditional banks or other fintech apps, Varo is building an all-in-one solution with frictionless, integrated, and automated deposit, budgeting, savings, and lending products that help our customers solve everyday money problems and achieve better financial outcomes. Based in San Francisco and privately held, Varo has raised $34M with an early funding round led by Warburg Pincus in May of 2016, one of the largest-ever for an early-stage financial technology company. Bank accounts for Varo Money are provided by The Bancorp Bank, Member FDIC. For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @varomoney.

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