If you're reading this, I'm earning money. Thanks for helping to feed my family. Please see our disclosure for more information. Also, any advice provided is for informational purposes only. I'm not a CPA, lawyer, or doctor, although my parents wanted me to be all three. So, talk to a professional before acting on anything you read below.
Are you in violation of these millennial money mix-ups? You might want to take a few minutes and find out.
It's always amazing to me how little people know about money. Now, I'm not about to get on my soap box here, but it's incredibly worrisome that many of us fail to have even the basics down.
I've said this before, but humor me here. I know people who didn't start investing in their companies' retirement programs (and they matched) until their late 20s or early 30s. I know people who have used their homes as ATMs and delayed their retirement for years because of it. And, of course, my family is guilty of buying too much house which forced us to downsize.
So, it's no surprise then to see how poorly millennials and recent college graduates are doing with money. They have student loans. They haven't planned for the future. They can't buy a house. Sure, these are generalizations I know. But, there is often some truth it and we need to find a way to correct it.
As a side note, I do love seeing stories that showcase members of Gen Z buying homes and Gen Y having money saved for retirement. It's definitely an encouraging trend and one to monitor going forward.
However, based on this new study from Laurel Road, we have a lot of work to do. Checkout what I highlighted from the study below. See if you're guilty of these financial sins!
According to Laurel Road, " ... many college-educated Americans still haven’t taken some of the most basic steps to ensuring a healthy, long-term financial plan ..." This includes the following points from the study below. I'm most concerned about 1 and 3.
The study found that almost " ... 2 in 3 (66%) grads are not fully confident they know the steps required to finance a home." Also, while a portion of those surveyed expressed confidence in knowing the steps, "it seems a solid financial foundation early on is key to building a comfortable future later on down the road."
Well, as it turns out, many people don't "got this" when it comes to their finances. Consider what Laurel Road says: "Just more than half (57%) of college graduates have asked for financial advice, and only 16% do so on a monthly basis."
If they're not asking for advice, I sure hope they Google it or read blogs like this one!
I'll let Alyssa Schaefer, Chief Marketing Officer of Laurel Road, take this one ...
“While student loan debt is referred to as everything from a burden to a national crisis, one thing is evident. Recent graduates, especially women, are lacking adequate support in the form of financial education, which is negatively affecting their long-term financial outlooks and opportunities."
"However, readjusting interest rates through options like refinancing can ease the burden. But it seems Americans might not be fully aware of this option, as only about one-third (34%) of college-educated adults who have taken out student loans have refinanced their student loans."
Money issues cause stress. It's a simple fact of life. But, you need to take control of your own situation and learn how to deal with it.
No, it's not fun. It is necessary though and once you do it (and prioritize it) things will get better
Some interesting stats from the study that should be noted with regards to financial education and money stress, include:
What this study fails to note though is how the personal finance blogging world is immersed with amazing women doing awesome things while educating us about money. Right off the top of my head, Michelle from Making Sense of Cents and Rosemarie from The Busy Budgeter are flat out killing it. So, keep that in mind when reading this.
We've pointed out the problems, now it's time to think about solutions.
I'll leave this to you. I want to hear what you think.
Here's a great recommendation from Schaefer to start us off:
"Educating young Americans early and often about student loan refinancing options is a crucial step in the direction of easing this crippling burden, and in ensuring that young women and men are able to confidently achieve their financial and life goals."