(NewsNation) — Younger Americans are obsessed with the idea of being rich, which could fuel a sense of financial insecurity known as “money dysmorphia,” according to a new survey.
Nearly half of millennials (46%) and 44% of Gen Z say they’re “obsessed with the idea of being rich,” a recent Intuit Credit Karma study found. Meanwhile, 27% of American adults across all age groups said the same.
Respondents in younger generations were also significantly more likely to say they experience “money dysmorphia,” which is when people have a distorted view of their finances regardless of their actual situation. Nearly half (48%) of those surveyed from Gen Z and 59% of millennials said they feel behind financially.
But that perception is often out of step with reality. Nearly one in four people who experience money dysmorphia reported having more than $30,000 in savings, the survey found.
“A lot of people are examining their finances and comparing themselves to their peers, people on social media, and even celebrities, which is bringing up feelings of inadequacy,” Courtney Alev, consumer financial advocate at Credit Karma, said in a release.
Alev said money dysmorphia is today’s version of “keeping up with the Joneses.”
And while it may seem harmless, 95% of respondents who report experiencing money dysmorphia said it negatively impacts their finances. Of those, 40% said it has held them back from building up their savings, the survey found.
The latest survey builds on other reports that have documented a widespread rise in stress and anxiety among younger generations. One study found financial concerns are a top driver of anxiety among Gen Z.
Other research suggests parents are also placing significant emphasis on finances. Nearly 90% of parents say it’s “extremely” or “very” important that their children become financially independent, according to Pew Research. By comparison, just one in five parents said it was important for their kids to get married or have children.
The Intuit Credit Karma survey of 1,006 U.S. adults was conducted online by Qualtrics from December 18 to December 26, 2023.