A new financial survey shines a dark light on the questionable spending habits of the LGBTQ community, particularly the younger generation.
What is most interesting about the Experian study called the “LGBTQ Money Survey: Attitudes, Challenges, and Opportunities” is the fact that on the surface we as a community have a positive outward impression on our spending habits but deep down inside we feel a completely different way.
When participants of the survey were asked to rate their financial habits on a scale from 0 to 10, with 0 representing a spender and 10 representing a saver, 52% responded as a saver indicating themselves between a 6 and 10. But when Experian probed deeper with follow-up questions, the truth was revealed.
- More than two-fifths (44%) of LGBTQ respondents said they struggle to maintain adequate savings vs. 38% of the general population.
- Just over one-third (34%) of said they have bad spending habits that they’d like to improve or change vs. 28% of the general population.
- LGBTQ respondents estimated they devote 16% of monthly income to discretionary spending, but just 11% to saving or investment.
The 2018 Financial study was performed in observance of pride month with 500 LGBTQ participants and 500 non-LGBTQ participants for comparative analysis purposes — all of which were American participants. When comparing the two (LGBTQ Respondents and General Population) our community rated higher negatively in terms of our conscious spending habits.
Our youth are the ones who feel most burdensome when it comes to financial stability, which can probably be said for the general public as well. Statistics from the survey show that 25 to 34-year-olds have the right idea with saving for retirement ranking #1 and paying off debt ranking #2 as their highest financial concerns. But their uncontrollable spending habits just get in the way.
- 53% of respondents in that age group reported struggling to maintain savings.
- 49% disagreed with the statement “I am in control of my finances” vs. a range of 56% to 58% for those aged 35-64 and 75% for those 65 and up.
- 49% of the 25-to-34-year-olds reported having bad spending habits—a condition that diminishes with remarkable consistency among members of successively older LGBTQ age segments.
When it came down to where most of their money went, discretionary spending was the culprit with dining out topping the list at 53%. Their two other overspending habits were listed as clothing at 38% and personal hygiene at 26%, all of which were significantly higher than older LGBTQ individuals. Travel was comparable with that of non-LGBTQ individuals (general population according to the Experian survey) at 20%, but gay men of all ages surveyed at 26%.
Being that this report is interesting, what is most shocking in the report is that 62% of LGBTQ respondents of the survey attributed their financial challenges to their sexual orientation or gender identity! A majority of these concerns are rooted in the workplace with only 2 out of the 5 reasons resulting from marriage inequality and housing discrimination issues.
- Discrimination or harassment at work (13%).
- Being passed over for a job or (12%).
- Marriage inequality laws that reduced retirement security for couples (11%).
- Discrimination leading to higher housing costs (11%).
- Lower salary or reduced chance of promotion (10%)
To read the full findings of the Experian survey click here.