But it appears their grasp of mobile technology is opening up a new world of long-term financial planning.
So when they seem to be wasting time on a mobile device, it’s just possible they are checking the size of their nest egg, or topping up their savings.
A study carried out by The Halifax found that many young adults are fans of digital banking. The study concluded that four out of five savers aged 18 to 24 believe that online and mobile banking is making it easier to save money.
Around three out of five respondents said it makes them more likely to move money into their savings account (59 per cent online and 65 per cent mobile), while around four out of five said it makes them more aware of their savings balance.
A Halifax spokesman said: “Halifax’s Generation Save report shows that, compared with the general population, young savers are much more switched on to the money management benefits that digital banking can bring.
“The over 55s are the least likely to recognise these benefits, with only one in four (25 per cent) who use mobile banking saying it makes them more inclined to move money into their savings, compared to over two thirds (65 per cent) of young savers.”
Giles Martin, the head of Halifax Savings, said yesterday: “This research tells us that online and mobile banking is actually helping a lot of young people to save.
“It’s clear that having easy real-time access to their savings balance, whether in their pocket or on their PC, is keeping saving front of mind.
“This is great news if it means that young people are getting into good savings habits early in life, particularly at a time when reaching those key milestones like buying a first car or first home can feel out of reach for many.”
On average, just under two thirds of savers hold an account with a different bank or building society to their main current account provider.
However, this is the case for a little over a third (37 per cent) of 18 to 24-year-olds.
A Halifax spokesman said: “One reason many young people are holding all their accounts in one place could be their preference towards being able to view all of their accounts together.
“Half of 18 to 24-year-olds say they prefer to hold their savings with the same provider as their current account so they can do just that, compared with two fifths of over 55s, and 44 per cent of the general popula- tion.”
As the most technologically savvy age group, it’s no surprise that around 74 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds prefer to open their savings accounts via digital means, according to the Halifax report.
The over 65s favour branch openings, with three in five choosing this method, and a third (30 per cent) opting for the digital route.
The spokesman said: “Of all the savings accounts opened via digital, the greatest proportion are opened by customers aged 18 to 34 (37 per cent).
“Conversely, of all savings accounts opened via telephone banking, over half are opened by the over 55s.
“Reinforcing this, 18 to 24-year-olds are making more deposits than any other age group via digital, but their balances are lower, which is likely to be due to their lower levels of disposable income.”
The respondents aged 18 to 24 are more aware of their savings balance, and more likely to move money into their savings when accessing it through digital banking, according to the report.