Why It's Hard For Millennials to Save Money
We live in different times. Now, you hard pressed to find any young person buying a home; most rent houses or live in apartments. It is also very rare to see a young person with very much money saved up. I think, in a lot of ways, this is a generational thing. Growing up in the time that we did, we may not have had the exposure to, or resources, to really save money and build up our own finance plans like so many generations before have. I am no expert on this matter, but I do see a trend, or a pattern of sorts appearing with people my age over and over again.
I don't want to blame everything on the economy, but I do believe that has a lot to do with the fact that you don't see too many 30 year olds buying houses nowadays. The housing market is in a lot of trouble. On top of that, our country is in massive debt. This debt is reflected in every single young person that has ever gone to college to get some kind of degree, because a big majority of them actually took out student loans. So not only is the country in debt, we also have young people struggling to pay off student loan debt which is actually causing them not to be able to afford buying a home, or saving up for something really important, like starting a family. I've seen a trend as of late with people my age also getting married later, and having kids later than some previous generations. I think this all has to do with the economy. Whatever shape the economy is in, we seem to outwardly reflect these same hardships in our own day-to-day lives.
American culture has been redefined in the past ten, twenty, and thirty years. Now, the atomic family is no longer a common thing, and many people end up living in alternate lifestyles related to divorce, separation, living situations, gender identity, different sexual orientations, and many other reasons. Because of this, the demands of our generation are slightly different. We make up a diverse group of individuals with different goals and dreams. Unfortunately, our country, our economy, is still built around the more traditional pathways for many, so it can make things more difficult for those choosing to live an alternate lifestyle.
I also believe that my generation has become a lot more susceptible to advertising and marketing, and as such, we are a more impulsive generation. Instead of saving money for a big trip or some other large expense, we tend to impulsively buy things without thinking it all the way through. Budgeting is not really in our language. The capitalist society around us reflects that we spend, shop, and ask for loans. Capitalism isn't a bad thing, but I don't think our generation really knows how to function in this society. Because of television, ads, and other forms of media, we have become so used to convenience. It's more convenient to shop online and have it delivered to your door. It's better to get what you want right now and not save up for the expense. This way of thinking has really been a deficit for my generation in general.
In a world where new technology is always on the rise and there are new, creative innovations every day, I feel like I should be more a part of this. I feel like I should be someone on the cutting edge of how we can help and fix this economy in America. However, I more or less feel overwhelmed with debt, I'm an impulsive shopper, and I can barely make ends meet as they are. This is a reality that is not just real for me, but for many my age. It's not that our parents didn't do a good job of teaching us how to be frugal. It's not that the schools didn't teach us about personal finance. I really, truly believe that our generation has been exposed to so much, that it is impossible for us to have the things that previous generations did, like owning a home, or living debt free, or saving up for a large vacation, even starting a large family can be difficult. I'm not blaming things on my generation; what I'm really saying here is that we are different. We are a different generation, and therefore have different needs that need to be met in order to get to where we want to be. I know my hopes are to one day be completely debt free, and to own my own home. Hopefully, I'll be able to make these dreams a reality one day.