Oct 05 2016

Millennial Money Chatter: A Guide to Millennial Financial Discourse


Understanding how Millennials talk about personal finance—”money chatter”—may help credit unions better serve this large consumer base.

Hope Schau
Hope Schau
Eller Professor of Marketing at the Eller College of Management
University of Arizona
Ignacio Luri
Doctoral Student, Department of Marketing
University of Arizona
Report Number 414

Executive Summary

Millennials are changing the English language. When it comes to communication, they have a distinctive way of expressing their thoughts. Don’t believe it? Spend 10 minutes on Facebook or Twitter and you’ll be hard-pressed not to encounter phrases such as on fleek and throwing shade and acronyms like BAE (“before anyone else”). They’re constantly adding entries to their ever-evolving dictionary. If you’d like to communicate effectively with Millennials, you need to understand the way they speak. Words like groovy and booyah won’t resonate with them. Sorry.

As the largest living generation (75.4 million in the United States), Millennials represent the next potential heavy users of financial services and instruments. This is prompting financial institutions to develop products and services that speak directly to Millennials’ needs. Millennials’ social influence and digital connectivity raises the stakes for brands looking to capture their attention. Credit unions, specifically, must understand Millennials’ money chatter—the language they use to discuss personal finances. In doing so, credit unions will be able to better serve this unique market segment.