People tend to view money differently at each stage of their life. Learning how to manage it better sometimes comes with age but this isn’t always the case. You may be surprised to find out that millennials, also known as “Gen Y,” are actually a pretty savvy bunch when it comes to how they spend their hard-earned cash. Think that this group knows very little about financial matters? Think again! This post-X-generation of people, whose ages range from 20’s to mid 30’s, have grown up in a technologically advanced age, where everything they need is, literally, right at the touch of a button. Therefore, they tend to be more analytical in how they process everything, including their funds. Here are just a few things millennials know about money.
Paying Off Student Loans is a Priority
According to Business Insider, “The average annual increase in college tuition from 1980-2014 grew by nearly 260%.” Due to the skyrocketing cost of college, many millennials are leaving higher learning institutions with a significant amount of student debt. This influences their spending habits, lifestyles, and career decisions. Contrary to what some might think, on average, millennials just out of college make less than previous generations, including the baby boomers and Gen X. Employers who are serious about recruting their talent might consider offering student loan repayment benefits which, according to human resource firm, SHRM, are “especially attractive” to younger, skilled employees.
Millennials Have Better Budgeting Skills Overall
Schools have been stepping up to teach kids real life skills, such as time management and budgeting in what used to be called “Home Economics.” Math courses during the middle school years are even teaching youngsters how taxes work and budgeting for real world expenses, including food, clothing, and basic household necessities, and how that works with an income. Fluent in math skills taught in conjunction with real world application, millennials are more prone to habitually keep and maintain a budget.
Saving for a Rainy Day is Prominent
According to numerous studies including one by Fidelity, more than 80 percent of millennials have a “rainy day fund,” or emergency savings that will get them through a job loss, or other troubles. TIME Magazine reported that 70 percent of this generation start saving at the young age of just 22-years-old. In comparison to the baby boomers who didn’t start saving on average until much later, at 35-years-old, this clear difference evinces the truth: what millennials know about money goes far beyond meeting everyday needs. This generation isn’t spending all their dough on pour-over coffees and eating fast-casual every night. They prioritize saving and that shows real smarts.
Finding Alternate Ways to Make Money Comes Easily
In this gig economy where innovative companies like Uber, Lyft, and Postmates offer flexible hours and a certain amount of autonomy,
millennials aren’t afraid of supplementing their primary income with a little side work. Whatever brings extra money into their pockets, right? Extra time equals extra money, especially amongst those who are unmarried and do not have children. Such a pragmatic, can-do attitude is something we can all celebrate.
Even though millennials tend to get a lot of slack in the media as being “know nothings” or “entitled”, the fact is today’s 20 and early 30-somethings know quite a bit about money, are conscientious about it, and willing to work hard. As a whole their pragmatism enables them to stay cool under pressure and to find innovative solutions to financial problems as they arise. Their “cool” demeanor might contribute to them being largely misunderstood by older generations who tend to feel “bogged down” by financial stress. Perhaps older generations could take a cue from millennials who show us stress about money is largely unnecessary when you are innovative, analytical, and goal-oriented.