​What young adults do right and wrong with money

Millennials' saving habits help debunk stereo... 02:15

NEW YORK -- Renee Powers graduated college as the recession began. Now 28 she and her husband keep strict control over their money.

"We've always talked about money, we've grown up talking about money, the economy has always been an issue," said Powers.

Coming of age during the The Great Recession, and watching their parents struggle financially, turned Millennials into savers. More than half of those between 18 and 34 are putting away at least five percent of their income -- more than any other age group, according to America Saves.

CBS News

"We do have a retirement fund that we have been putting money into the last five or six years, and watching it grow which is wonderful," said Powers.

A whopping 70 percent of Millennials are already saving for retirement, and they started sooner than previous generations. Boomers began at a median age of 35; Generation Xers at 27; and Millennials at 22.

Renee Powers CBS News

"My friends and I we're very explicit about our budget. If something's not in our monthly budget, sorry, it's not going to happen," said Powers.

And while this age group has a reputation as slackers who live at home, mooching off their parents, Powers says that's a bad rap.

"They're learning that staying home with their families is going to save them money and they're going to pay back loans while they're staying home before getting out on their own two feet," said Powers. "I think that's a smart financial decision."

Millennials, however, aren't so good at investing. Witnessing the burst of the tech bubble and the collapse of the housing market has left them very risk averse. They don't share the same willingness to invest as their parents do. Only a quarter of Millennials are investing in stocks, compared to 50 percent of people age 50 to 64.

CBSf News
  • Jill Schlesinger On Twitter» On Google+»

    View all articles by Jill Schlesinger on CBS MoneyWatch »
    Jill Schlesinger, CFP®, is the Emmy-nominated, Business Analyst for CBS News. She covers the economy, markets, investing and anything else with a dollar sign on TV, radio (including her nationally syndicated radio show), the web and her blog, "Jill on Money." Prior to her second career at CBS, Jill spent 14 years as the co-owner and Chief Investment Officer for an independent investment advisory firm. She began her career as a self-employed options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York, following her graduation from Brown University.