Written by: Katie Brewer
It seems like everywhere you turn today you hear something – good or bad – about millennials. Some people say they live for today without looking forward to the future and some say millennials expect too much financially without working for it. As a financial coach, I see both the strengths and weaknesses of millennials.
According to a recent study by MoneyTips.com only 50% of those millennials surveyed (born between 1981 and 1994) are satisfied with their financial situation. Why? Maybe it’s because the older generation didn’t teach their kids about money or maybe it’s because younger generations have an “I’ll do it my way” attitude – and that’s okay as long as your way is financially responsible.
Our younger years are the time to make mistakes and learn from them. But what if you didn’t have to learn the hard way? What if you sought out professional advice in your early 20s and instead of ending up in debt you could start off on the prosperous money path? That’s where a financial coach comes in.
Don’t make the same mistakes that some millennials are making. Let me help you pay off debt, save for retirement and find financial happiness.
A focus on higher education equals more student loans
Millennial are the “highest-educated generation in history” says Kate Holmes in her new eBook The Millennial Next Door. What does this translate into when it comes to their bottom line? It means millennials have a lot of debt in the form of student loans.
Holmes says that 30% of millennials feel that student debt has hurt their financial independence. That’s the trade off between earning a degree and potentially landing a job; some people end up in debt after graduation.
Unfortunately we live in a time when education is not affordable for everyone. However there are options for students who wish to pursue a higher education but can’t afford the tuition.
Students can apply for grants to enter their program of study. Full and partial scholarships are also available for a variety of reasons from sports ability to outstanding GPAs. If you want to pursue a master’s degree, see if your employer offers tuition reimbursement. Check with your local student services center or guidance counselor to get more information on financial aid for college students.
Living for today, not thinking about tomorrow
Living in the moment is both a gift and a curse. MoneyTips.com says “One-third (of millennials) either aren’t meeting their financial objectives or haven’t set goals.” This has come to be a common millennial attitude.
The younger generation is known for living in the moment with the “you only live once” mentality. That’s great for today while you can still work, but what about tomorrow? Wouldn’t it be great to work because you want to and not because you have to?
If you don’t know where to start, get off the fence and start small! Any amount of money aside for retirement every month is a good idea because over time a little bit of money can add up to a lot of savings . Taking advantage of employer savings plans or IRAs is another way millennials (actually everyone) can save more for their future.
Of course the more you save in earlier years, the sooner you can achieve financial independence, but not saving at all means you’ll be working forever. I’m sure you don’t want to do that. I think we all look forward to the day we can at least have the option to do something else.