In various publications, millennials have been portrayed as the black sheep generation. Though it is true that there are a lot of things that millennials should learn from previous generations, there are still some things that the older generations can learn from the new batch as well.
Being technology advocates is already a given. How about money? What are the money habits that previous generations can learn from this new breed?
Financially smart millennials know how to handle their money properly. Here are their top money habits.
Financially smart millennials keep track of their expenses
According to studies by T. Row Price, 75% of millennials keep track of their expenses compared to 64% of baby boomers. Not only that – 67% of millennials adhere to a specific budget while only 55% of baby boomers do so.
Millennials also take time to record their budget and expenses with the use of technology. They use mobile applications or Excel sheets to track their wallet. Some go for the old school way and actually keep tiny notebooks in their pockets.
Financially smart millennials have a retirement plan
Even if the older generations are putting more money into retirement because of their higher salaries, millennials are catching up because they started investing early. Financially smart millennials prioritize paying off debt and putting something into their retirement plans.
Also, financially smart millennials are open to being educated about money. 58% of millennials are open to learning from professionals and authorities to handle their money for retirement better, compared to 24% of baby boomers.
It is easier for millennials to live within their means just so they can invest money for their retirement. 88% do so while only 67% Baby Boomers can do the same.
Financially smart millennials talk about money
Millennials are straight-forward and upfront about talking about their financial status with others – whether it’s about debt, salaries, or credit scores.
Studies show that 98% of 25-29 year-old millennials have already discussed their finances with their partners – the highest result of any group included in the survey.
Given that money is the cause of problems in work and life, millennials being transparent about money needs to be passed down to the next generations. This is a trait that can make or break relationships and family ties. Transparency and communication can solve a lot of problems in work and in relationships.
Financially smart millennials spend money on experiences over material things, but only after increasing their income for more savings
Financially smart millennials cover the basics then spend money on experiences. Experiences can range from travelling to taking their mom to dinner. However, financially smart millennials do not spend all of their money just to book flight tickets and post pictures on Instagram. They only choose to go for experience once they answer their basics and as long as they can save at least 40% of their income.
Financially smart millennials leverage technology to manage their money and to increase their income
Apps about everything are up for grabs. Millennials utilise their love for technology and use budgeting and banking apps to save and invest. There are even apps that will help you pay back friends you borrowed money from.
Aside from managing money, millennials also use technology to earn. With a few clicks with eBay, they can easily earn cash from selling items they do not use anymore. They can also provide their services online. Millennials use freelancing websites to get clients as freelance writers and editors to earn while at home. They value their time and know that with a little bit of hard work working from home can be a more effective and efficient way of earning. With the use of the internet, millennials easily connect to people all over the world. It’s not a stranger’s world for them. Millennials can easily build a blog and start their portfolio to share their talents to the rest of the world.
Financially smart millennials would rather learn than be entertained
In a time where free movies and TV series can be accessed with a few clicks, financially smart millennials decide to spend time reading books or attending seminars to learn more about what they are passionate about and how to handle their money well.
These are only some of the habits that financially smart millennials do. Surely, there are still a lot of things this young generation should learn, but previous and coming generations can learn a thing or two from them as well.
She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen).
Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).
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