As millennials, our passion, drive and make it happen attitudes serve us well.
Despite the naysayers, I think it’s pretty damn awesome that we’re not willing to settle for second best. We go after what we want and make things happen far quicker – in many cases – than previous generations ever did.
We’re constantly criticised for our addiction to instant gratification, but I don’t think it’s such a bad thing that we’ve travelled to more countries by the age of 21 than our parents have in their lifetimes, is it?!
There’s one area though, that our penchant for now, now, now has let many of us down.
We’re getting older Gen Y, and, as much as it sucks, the oldest of us turn 37 this year (F*ck! 40 is just around the corner!!!) and the youngest of us is now 22.
For the most part we’ve finished university and have been working and earning an income for quite a few years now.
However, having never really learnt the art of delayed gratification, many of us have little or nothing to show for it financially, and we’ve also never learned to act our ‘wage’.
With easy access to credit, we’ve been travelling the world, running around in designer clothes, attending lavish events and running up astronomical restaurants bills on a far too regular basis.
Easy access to credit.
Put simply, most of our generation had our first credit card (for emergencies only of course, pfffft!) in our hot little hands within days of turning 18.
So there we were, no formal financial education and packing plastic. Free money.
What could be better? The temptation to spend was at an all time high and there were a million and one things to spend it on.
Cue the arrival of social media and all of a sudden ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ took on a whole new life.
Many of us lived at home a lot longer than previous generations, and so between our credit cards, payday, and no real commitments, we started adult life free to spend money on all the good stuff.
We developed a behaviour of spending everything available to us on lifestyle.
And for anything big we’ve needed to purchase (like a car) there’s been a myriad of financing options available. There’s no real need to save when you can get the item now even if you don’t have the money.
So for many millennials, we never developed a good savings habit and instead of living within our means, every pay rise meant more money to spend living large.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of responsible money-smart millennials who’ve managed to avoid the trappings of personal debt. However, there are plenty who haven’t and it’s easy to see why.
Rather than spending everything we earn, and then some (via debt), here’s how we should be managing our money:
Disclaimer: all information contained within this article is of a general nature. It should not be relied upon when making financial decisions. Please consult a professional financial advisor or planner (like us!) before acting.