The financial anxieties of the Millennial generation
As a society, on the whole, we seem to have fallen into the to trap of presenting the Millennial generation as some kind of alien species or mythical race: a breed of creature who live by different rules and regulations to the rest of us humans and that their standards, preferences, and ways of behaving are almost incomprehensible, exotic or other-worldly to how we behave ourselves.
It’s a nonsense. They’re humans just like us. The only difference being is that they were born at a different time.
In a lot of ways, this younger generation is a lot smarter than we are. They’re more open-minded to new and different ways of living and far more open to change because they’ve known nothing but that. They’ve had the fortune to grown up through some of the most incredible and amazing technological advances our planet has ever seen and to them, that’s the norm. Nothing is impossible. Everything is achievable. Grab hold of it all with both hands. Milk it for everything it’s worth. Go live your best life.
What’s so different about Millennials then?
Here are some facts and figures that should help outline the differences between this new Generation Y from their predecessors.
They’re better educated
Millennials hold the most education qualifications than any generation in Western history – and here’s one for girl power – it’s the women who are outperforming and out-qualifying the men in the classroom.
They integrate seamlessly with modern technologies
Because they’ve grown up with the Internet and the growth in digital technologies it’s no surprise that it’s their go-to for pretty much everything in life and that they adapt faster to and more readily to tech than the generations before would.
According to a study by Telefonica 80% of Millennials own a smartphone and 45% own a tablet. They outperform every other generation on how engaged they are with new technology and also in how much they use the tech in their everyday lives.
They have a better sense of community
Given the rise in sharing of information through social media and an ever-expanding array of additional outlets, we couldn’t avoid what’s going on in the world anymore even if we tried. This projection of information has helped educate Millennials to a point where they’re more engaged than ever in politics, society, charity, environment, health issues and more. They’ve been given a voice and a never-ending plethora of platforms to use it on. Each of these areas has made them more compassionate and progressive regarding the causes they believe in. They’ve also been taught that they can achieve whatever they set out to so have no problem in utilising this mass of confidence to go out and make a stand.
They’re entrepreneurial multi-taskers
This new generation wants to take the future into their own hands. The work-life balance model has changed. Work is a bigger part of their life; it’s not just a way to pay the bills. Being happy at work, although a big part of their belief system, isn’t enough anymore. Their working roles define who they are.
A survey in the US outlined that over two-thirds of Millennials stated their goal was to run their own business rather than to achieve CEO or President status by climbing the corporate ladder.
They’re more frugal
As an aware and socially minded, ethical and empathic generation, then obviously this would suggest that they should also be aware of the value of the money they earn, especially in a world where employment opportunities are a serious challenge, wages are constantly varying and the cost of living is high.
Despite not being afraid to splash out on the things they deem important and worthwhile, more often experiences over possessions, living within their means is an important part of life to this generation. They might not always have the income they would like in order to save as much as they consider important but that doesn’t mean they aren’t trying to. They’re aware of what it costs to live happily in the here and now but also the need to plan for the future.
Millennial’s and their money worries
Our own figures at Creditfix show that the average national debt is £19,275 whereas the level of debt for those aged between 18 and 35 is only £13,904. That’s a significant difference from the younger generation.
So where does that financial savviness come from? Education? Technology?
Perhaps it’s something as simple as worry and stress?
Statistics show that around 70% of Millennials set a monthly budget, nearly double that of older generations. Barclays bank’s own research has shown that 37% of them feel consistently nervous about checking their balance and almost a half lose sleep over worrying about money. They often fear checking their balance after a night out and their stresses peak at the time of their direct debits being paid each month.
From a generation who are ever more open and aware of the implications of poor mental health any worry is a problem to find a solution to.
Education is the answer
To appease the stresses and to try and help Generation Y into a more stable and trouble free financial way of life perhaps the best way to get those worries under control is to understand better the methods in how to avoid money pitfalls. It appears that as a generation they are already aware of what to aim for and what characteristics they need to get there but putting it all into practice can be easier said than done.
There are many new technologies to help us budget better and make realistic plans to save more, to guide us in what we can and can’t afford to spend in any given month. A long-term plan that Millennials find easy to stick to could be just the thing to help them sleep better at night?
Don’t let the debt rule your life
And for those who have slipped into a trap, they can’t see a way out of or for those who have had it forced on them due to today’s precarious employment situations, expensive education system, high property prices and a constantly rising cost of living? There are always ways to turn the problem around and get your finances back on track.
Debt should always be temporary if you have the correct tools to deal with it and that’s where we really can help. Give us a call for free on 0800 0431 431 to talk to an expert advisor.