Financial Management for Millennials
We Need To Change the Way We Educate
With so many concerns – whether the rising student fees or the impact of unemployment on a starting salary – the word ‘finances’ can be the enemy for many Millennials. For some it epitomizes patriarchy and injustice set against those just trying to get by, for others it may simply represent something to increase quickly to mitigate rising costs.
The truth is, as much as Millennials may be thankful for advice from Mom and Dad, any economics class will tell you that the 1950’s ideal of stable employment is far behind us: whether the displacement of graduate jobs due to automation, or the differences is lifestyle through modern technology and opportunities, ‘finances’ for Millennials has become a whole different ball-game.
The same problems that were there three decades ago have not disappeared; they are just being ignored. Yes, speak up to injustice and fight with the voting ballot. But don’t let your pocketbook be the one to suffer as you navigate your way through today’s commercial environment!
So, what’s behind the stress? A bit of background
Anxiety and depression are becoming rampant in people who range from 20-30 years of age due to financial worries. A shocking 28% of Millennials claim to suffer from financial anxiety to the point where their fear affects their performance at work. Additionally, the federal minimum wage has stayed at $7.25 per hour since 2009. Put simply: the cost of living continues to rise and yet, minimum wage remains comfortable at $7.25. The result?
Many Millennials are working multiple jobs just to make ends meet.
Likewise, another cause of stress lies in the cost of higher education. From 2017-2018, the average cost of tuition for a four-year college cost $34,740 for a private school, $9,970 for state residents at public colleges and $25,640 for out of state students.
How do people expect college students to focus in school when they are constantly worrying about how they can afford their tuition? Scholarships can be scarce; and now that loans must be paid back, large debt is thrown into the mix from day one of a Millennial’s working life.
Maybe staying home is a better option
In the days of the baby boomers and those before, the 20-year-old was completely financially independent. However, in today’s day and age, that is far from the case. Many Millennials cannot afford to live on their own right after college, and instead either return back home, or share an apartment with roommates they would otherwise avoid.
Some call it a downward spiral.
Today, the cost of living has become so high that living with multiple people – as difficult as that sounds – winds up becoming the more affordable option. Likewise, this leads to less people becoming homeowners and starting families; although owning a home with the yard and the white picket fence has always been the American dream, frankly many young American adults cannot afford it!
The high-school factor: a missing piece of the puzzle?
For the vast majority of life areas, we can afford to run-on old curricula.
For material before college years: math can stay the same, and the latest insights and discoveries in chemistry do not exactly reach the high-school textbook; it’s irrelevant to that learning level.
“Financial freedom is a mental, emotional, and educational process.” - Robert Kiyosaki
But, when we allow high school students to be taught 1950s financial principles for a 2018 reality, that’s a mismatch that only creates disappointment: no, the life-long career with one firm is not guaranteed; real estate may not be the best place to harbor your savings; and yes, there are many outlets to give into in today’s commercial environment.
A modern spending and saving environment needs a modern curriculum to back it up; but with many Millennials giving into every spending temptation and grabbing every shiny object that comes their way, perhaps the tax-hungry government sees this mismatch as an advantage.
As Mr. Kiyosaki tells us, the emotion behind the spending is what Millennials are either helped or hindered by when it comes to education.
Let's change it!
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