Millennials have a bad rep – entitled, lazy, whiny… But before you say that Millennials complain too much, stop and think about the challenges they need to overcome, in order to succeed.
Millennials are made up of people born between 1981 to 1995. This is actually a pretty broad range of ages, with some Millennials in their late 30’s and some just entering university. Older Millennials born in the early 1980’s may share many characteristics of the preceding Generation X, and both generations face similar challenges to achieve financial stability.
Perhaps these five money issues faced by Millennials will give you a little insight into the lives of this generation, their feelings and attitudes.
The Cost of living today is very high compared to earning
Probably the most important money issue faced by Millennials is that they have come of age during a recession spanning almost two decades. Thanks to rampant global inflation, the cost of living has increased faster than wages. Millennials simply don’t have the same opportunities to build wealth and invest in their future as older generations.
Millennials have huge debt for University tuition
The Millennial generation is more likely to choose to study towards a degree, rather than go into a practical trade. The cost of a University education has doubled since the 1980’s which means that Millennials have more debt that takes longer to pay back.
Housing is really costly for Millennials
With today’s cost of living compared to what Millennials earn, it takes about a decade to save enough money for a downpayment on a small house. And property prices are 40% higher than they were in the early 1980’s. Because buying a property is out of their reach, many Millennials choose to rent, which comes with its own challenges. Since the 1960’s, rent costs have increased by nearly 50%.
Millennials struggle to accumulate wealth
And no, it’s not because they spend too much money. Lower wages, the high cost of living and high unemployment means that most Millennials simply don’t have extra cash to save towards retirement, property and other forms of long term wealth.
Millennials rely on their family for help
All of these financial challenges have resulted in a generation that is, on average, far more cash strapped than older generations were at the same age. Millennials are more likely to ask their parents for assistance with basic things such as rent, groceries, medical expenses and financial emergencies.
So the next time you hear a Millennial complaining that life is just “not fair”, show a little compassion. The financial situation faced by Millennials isn’t fair. And while the economy may take a long time to recover, in the meantime a bit of understanding can go a long way to bridging the generation gap.