Millennials, a generation not easily understood by most of us, have grown up in a much different world than us “older” folks did. Extensive research, countless papers, and many articles have been written about Millennials and their financial health. Why? Because their choices and available options are much different than say the prior generation.
A common personality trait among Millennials is their optimism. That being said, their optimistic ways haven’t quite trickled down into their finances, yet anyway. And this may not entirely be their fault either. Up until the late 90s, long-term job security started to become a thing of the past, causing more people to change careers and jobs much more often throughout the course of their life*.
How does all of this affect millennials? They were born into a much different world. A world where the doors to educational opportunities opened much wider than they had in previous years and generations, and at the exact same time long-term job security was literally jumping out the window.
Studies have shown that Millennials study longer and are in more debt than most of them can handle. Often, by the time they finish with their post-secondary studies, they are over educated and under qualified, causing many of them to take lower paying jobs to help pay the bills and their student debt**. Many of them just feel overwhelmed with debt and underwhelmed with opportunities, so they head right back to school and accumulate even more debt.
Most Millennials end up living paycheck to paycheck, not just because of their wages and their debt, but also because of their desire to spend it on the latest gadgets and fashion trends. Who can really blame them? They’ve grown up in a world where really cool, flashy, and trendy things have become much more accessible to the masses and have also become a kind of necessity all at the same time. So much so, that many of them will line up for days for the latest iPhone model, if they have to. In other words, they’re willing to eat canned tuna and beans just to get their hands on an $800.00 smartphone because they truly believe they must have it.
When it comes down to it, Millennials are challenged in more ways than one when to finances. Their thinking is short-term and it’s more important that their friends are high-fiving them or liking their social media posts showcasing for their latest purchase of the hottest gadget or trendy outfit. You won’t see them high-fiving each other for saying, “hey, I just saved $500!”
Millennials just don’t save. Life is too uncertain for them and the world offers them too many choices, but few that are solid enough to make any plans for the future. Additionally, with social media’s rise in popularity they are literally being trained to have a much shorter attention span and tend to get bored much more easily. If you ask them, they will tell you that they have no savings whatsoever. “Who can really see that far into the future?”
Saving money isn’t necessarily easy for everyone. If you’re looking for a financial planner on the Sunshine Coast, visit this page to learn more about our services to see how we might be able to help you get started on planning for your future.
*Job Security at a glance from McCrindle.com.au
**More about Australia’s over educated “Gen Y” at Greenleft.org.au