Today, I reflected on the largest group of our population that are facing rough financial battles, and truly, it’s the Millennials. The bad part of it, is that they are usually not educated on how to deal with finances.
In institutions of learning most students have been taught algebra, French, history, engineering, fine art, medicine, literature to mention some of them. Do most students ever learn about how to manage bills, taxes, saving and so forth. How about compound interest? Or how much things cost?
Most generations before millennials never had to deal with many of the financial predicaments facing us today. Financial literacy is an enormous problem and it’s growing at a rapid pace for our younger generations.
Like most challenging things in life, when debt gets out of control it tends to multiply, and this tends to make debt easy to get into and near impossible to get out of.
Most companies that live off of interest as their life-blood will have pages of fine-print. They make money off people who do not basic understanding of finances.
Another added struggle is the quality of modern products.
With more and more items being made with plastic components that are easy to break, the things we choose to spend money on have to be replaced MUCH more often than their counterparts that are quadruple their age.
As if that’s not frustrating enough, most of that is on purpose for big companies to make more money.
So, how do millennials manage their finances? Simply put, there’s a lot of wishing, finger-crossing, anxiety, and discomfort involved.
Generally, many millennials use credit cards or e-platforms to pay for necessities, and it was estimated that over 25% or more had late payments with their credit cards or were dealing with financial problems with bill collectors.
In one particularly disturbing study, 7 out of 10 millennials defined financial stability as the simple ability to be able to pay their bills every month. This may apply to every body but worse for millennials. This is not at all the goal for a generation that is expected to be the future leaders of the world.
In a world of fine-print everything, minimum wage jobs, and a school system that just isn’t keeping up many millennials live paycheck to paycheck having no clue of what the other option is.
This is not a question of laziness or the stupidity of a younger generation as some people tend to portray.
This, If anything, strongly reflects poorly on those of us who are older who have implemented these systems (slowly over time) and then neglected to teach the young people comprehensive ways of navigating through it.
The time to make a difference is now!
Dr. Charles Barugahare