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Millennials Pile Up Debt To Keep Up With Their Friends, Survey Finds

CBS Local -- The fear of missing out, or FOMO, is reportedly driving many millennials into serious debt. Whether it's enjoying the newest restaurants, wearing the latest fashion, or taking expensive vacations, the fear of falling behind their friends is forcing young Americans to pile up thousands of dollars in bills.

According to a survey by personal finance company Credit Karma, 39 percent of millennials polled say they've "spent money they didn't have" in order to keep pace with other overspending friends. Seventy-three percent of those respondents say they kept their debt a secret from those friends and kept spending.

According to the report, the average millennial who uses Credit Karma has over $46,000 in debt. Another 36 percent of young Americans say they believe the "FOMO" attitude will drive them into debt within the next year.

Expenses labeled "experiences" were found to be the biggest FOMO items on the millennial shopping list. "Our study found that millennials often feel pressure to spend money they don't have on travel, music festivals, weddings, sporting events or social activities such as dinner and drinks with friends," Credit Karma's Tim Devaney wrote.

The finance experts suggest that young people be more honest with friends about their ability (or inability) to spend of luxuries. Credit Karma also recommends young adults make an effort to find free experiences around town and limit credit card use in general.

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