“Millennials, if you want a home, stop spending so much on avocado toast”. How many times have you heard this when someone is giving you what they think is amazing financial advice? Today I want to talk about money, specifically about why saving seems impossible for most millennials out there. We know for a fact that the majority of millennials don’t even have a savings account, but don’t worry, this isn’t an article about me telling you how awful you are for not taking responsibility for your future.
Let’s look into statistics first:
Although a 2018 Bank of America survey found that 1 in 6 millennials between the ages 23 and 37 had at least $100,000 in savings many are in the opposite situation. A year prior, a GoBankingRates survey found that most millennials between 18 to 24 had less than $1,000 and 40% had nothing saved up, so why aren’t we saving?
I’m 27, and I’m still trying to feel like an adult sometimes. When I was a kid, I imagined that by this moment I’d have my own place and children. I associated a lot of goals to a certain age, but I’m at my aspirational age and years light away from achieving everything I dreamed of and, just like me, most millennials.
Before this year, I had never made more than 50k a year, so my adult life has basically been having roommates and having a frugal lifestyle to at least put a couple of bucks towards savings. Yet, my adult life isn’t very different than when I was in my early 20’s. There’s a distinct mismatch between how old I feel and my actual age.
Being on track to become the first generation to be poorer than our parents, how can we feel like adults when we can’t even afford to live like one?
Struggling to pay student debt, it should be no surprise that millennials postpone getting married and having children. On top of that, the things we need for stability, such as homes, are skyrocketing as well. So next time you want to give a millennial a piece of advice please don’t think that by telling us to stop buying our morning latte you’re actually making a difference. Boomer markers of what adulthood should look like need a reality check and a bit of collective understanding of how the world is a totally different place from when parents entered the workforce would go a long way. It’s okay to move at a different pace than the one you imagined.
I may not match the expectations that society loaded to the term “adult” but I’m proud and pretty happy with the life I’ve created for myself.
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