As twenty-somethings, we cop a bad rap. The accusations usually centre on poor work ethic, tech-dependency, flippant attitudes and excessive immaturity. We're really feeling the love guys.
Oh! And just in case you weren’t offended enough, apparently we’re also shit at managing our money. More specifically, we are a “selfish generation” that refuse to make necessary sacrifices in order to save. The worst part is, not only are these accusations tossed around like glitter at Mardi Gras, but they hold barely any truth whatsoever.
News flash: it’s not that young people don’t care about their futures or saving for a rainy day or surviving retirement. It’s not a lifestyle choice. What you’re actually seeing is a by-product of millenials' low pay, high living costs and bleak economic futures.
Before you dub us “Generation Rent,” please acknowledge that:
Housing prices in Sydney alone jumped a whopping 67.3 per cent in the last 5 years
The average university degree is set to cost a small inheritance if the government gets its way
Final salary pension schemes are as extinct as Kylie Jenner’s natural lips.
Bottom line, young people don’t value smashed avo and Contiki tours more than they do a savings account or superannuation fund. They simply can’t afford it. In fact, most don’t even consider retirement a reality because they genuinely believe they’ll never be able to stop working. Sorry, but where’s the laziness in that?
Basically, if you’re aged between 18 and 30 years and your savings are non-existent, you’re really not alone. Try these tips the next time you want to have a crack at saving. Start small and don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t exactly work out the first time.
Don’t be embarrassed to talk about money. Seek advice if you need to, whether it’s from a professional or even just a family member. Ignore the discomfort/shame that hovers over money conversations because refusing to talk about it simply nurtures a culture of financial illiteracy.
Don’t get sucked in by “spendy culture.” Society dictates that we should earn a good living and flaunt it Kardashian-style. There really is no challenge to keep up with anyone though. Focus on necessary consumption. It’s all about what you need, not what you think you should have based on the expectations of those around you.
Track your spending and expenses. And like most things in life, there’s an app (or seven) for that. Don’t you just love being young and technologically dependent?
Make a budget and stick to it. Pretty self-explanatory. The trick here is to create a budget that realistic, that way you’ll actually stick to it rather than wondering why you’re broke as you continue to sip cheap wine and shop online.
Pay in cash. Seriously. Intangible debit card transactions are too painless for our purposes. Paying in cash is the easiest way to stay aware of what’s leaving your pocket and more importantly, what you have left to spend.
Give it time and be patient. You’re not missing anything by skimping on overpriced clothes or not upgrading to the latest iPhone. And if anyone tries to tell you otherwise, toss your hair and tell them, “I’m investing in my future self.” #makingitrain
Adrianna is a 22-year-old journalism graduate who is never seen wandering the streets of Sydney sans coffee in hand. A self-confessed sugar addict, she is a lover of sweet treats, sweet words and even sweeter fashion finds. When she isn't hitting the gym or buried in a horror film of some sort, you'll definitely find her Instagramming at @adri_zapp.