When you are young it is too difficult and confusing to understand the value and importance of money. We try to grasp and learn about money through the conversations that are constantly happening around us. Questioning someone about their expenses or a student loan debt is kind of awkward.
The generation gap makes things complicated for Gen Z’ers to know the efforts that go into earning money. Millennials may find it hard to ask Gen Z’ers about their spending habits who are very much engrossed living in the moment than thinking about the future.
Here are a few advises that millenials wish they could give to Gen Z’ers:
1. Replace the dreamy lifestyle that is unrealistic and start living within your means
Comfort comes with a price tag and for that changing your lifestyle is very much necessary. Learning to live within your means in the early stages of your life will pay you back in the later phases. Spend when there is a need; spend on things that make sense. Don’t surround yourself with debts and unpaid bills that will cease all your savings no matter how hard you sweat it out.
You Gen Z’ers live in a techno-world and everything is just a touch away be it pizza, cab, or anything that you ask for. There are ways to tackle your expenses too like Universal Basic Credit that acts like an emergency fund and interest-free which means you can manage and pay your daily expenses or bills in time.
Come on Gen Z’ers, prove you are a responsible techno-freak!
2. Stop being artificial and never try to match others lifestyle
Many people might have generational wealth and tell you what it is huge to have that luxury. They get their education, rent, or mortgage paid for and binge spending comes naturally to them. Now, if you are in the company of such people it can be awkward to enjoy your time in their money every time they buy you a glass of beer, a movie, popcorn, burger, coke, and the list is endless. So, your tendency to ape them isn’t surprising but having said that make sure you don’t get carried away and blow out your entire money and later wish you saved all that money.
You are unique and so should be your spending habits.
3. Nothing wrong with saving money ‘too early’ for retirement
Looking to save money very early in your life will not suck out the youth in you because we all age and finally become old. Begin your financial saving journey with automatic deposits monthly. Even a contribution of just $20 or $25 is good enough. Over a period of time, you will be happy to know that your savings have grown so much that you don’t have to beg or borrow money from anybody. After all, retirement funds are the only savior when there is nobody to take care of you.
Take care of your future as early as you can. Good luck!
4. Teenage is like life on steroids but stop burning out
Look, teenage is not about millennials or Gen Z’ers, it is that phase of your life when the energy levels are so high that desires take over common sense. And, when you look back it will freak you out because you were so engrossed in the fun that breaking the rules meant life to you. It’s not that having fun is a cardinal sin but it is how much of that fun costs! Wanna party? Yup, party hard but get the cheap food, cheap drinks, and the cheap clothes in your twenties, and save the rest. Apply the brakes when you have to, else an accident is waiting and it really hurts.
Start building your credit history.
5. Incomplete research when making purchases is as good as wasteful spending
You are living in a world where information is so accessible like never before and the power to decide rests with you while nobody can influence your thought process. It’s an open book, consumers drive the business and the choices are yours.
Buying something just because it’s cheap and assuming that something that is costly will last longer is a mind game. Cheaper items don’t last long which means repeated buying becomes inevitable and that could have been avoided if you had paid a few more dollars for the quality. Do your research thoroughly before buying anything, check online reviews, ask people’s advice, shop around, look out for deals and discounts, and compare the prices and stock up when possible.
6. Student Loans should be considered only after educating yourself on the type of loan you’re opting
Education is a costly affair and not everybody can afford to pay for it and that is why we seek options to take off the burden in the form of student loans. A loan is a deal that requires you to repay on time but an inflow of money is not easy while you are still in college. Let’s say you are lucky to get a part-time job but that can’t cover the entire loan repayment or let’s say a major part of it then you can be in a fix. As mentioned above, taking some financial pressure off by going for an emergency like the Universal Basic Credit is a great way that you should never ignore.
Be smart but watchful too!
7. Don’t take it all at once! Accepting the entire loan amount offered needs a second opinion
Student loans are nothing but a debt that you acquire very early in your life. If a loan of $15K is offered and $10K covers your fees, tuition, dorm, etc. then reject the remaining amount right away. It sucks to pay for that extra money you borrowed and the time taken to clear it.
If you want to get a taste of how hard it is to clear debts then student loans are the real debts that teach you a valuable lesson. Well, it doesn’t matter that ‘everyone has opted for it because they are ‘good debt.’ Try to apply for as many scholarships as possible before you set your foot into college. It’s fine to take student loans, but you should take them seriously, and try to finish college with as little loan debt as possible.
Don’t forget, student and college life is all about registering fun, memories, and knowledge hence make the most of it.
8. One of the biggest frauds not just in your time but our time too, yes, credit cards
Credit cards have been such a successful tool to mislead and fool people. It is just another service tailor-made for the uber-rich people who have no idea how it works but yet they use it to avoid carrying cash all the time, seriously? Pay attention, they don’t want to carry cash so even if they default the payment in time they will still shell out the extra bucks.
Credit cards are a luxury that you shouldn’t even think of because it is so easy to invite debts that can crush your financial foundation and savings will remain a distant dream forever. Each time you swipe the card to buy something that was not even on your list you actually agreed to repay within the stipulated timeline. Now, if your finances are tight, paying for the service offered becomes impossible and so you skip the date. The real betrayal starts now, when you have the money to pay back, the interest gets added and you end up paying more.
Did you gain anything out of this whole deal?
9. Postponing is a beautiful excuse for budgeting
Creating a budget is an easy task but sticking to it is the problem but why? Its obvious postponement is the sole reason and it comes naturally to people.
How many times did you pick up your diary to jot down the expenses and track your expenses? A guessing game indeed! Because our minds are unstable and the only factor that differentiates Gen Z’ers from millennials is the increasing dependence on technology. Yes, you are hooked to smartphones so much that the world around you reflects on the screen that you are gazing at it day in and day out.
Nevertheless, you can still have a notepad on your phone to maintain the budgeting plan. Set an alert to tell you when you should be taking note of the expenses.
No excuses in budgeting allowed if you want some savings!
10. Look for the generic brand over popular name-brand at the grocery store
We are used to buying branded stuff and there is nothing wrong with it because everyone wants the quality for whatever they buy. Think otherwise, these branded products did not become popular overnight; they had to spend enough on marketing and customer engagement to establish them. What was once low-priced today is priced high due to the brand. This is how the business model works but we are not here to analyze and understand the brands’ strategy.
At the grocery store always be on the lookout for generic brands that will attract customers by pricing them competitively against popular brands. The quality is the same but it’s just that one is a new player in the market and the other an established one.
So, no guesses next time when you are at the grocery store pick-up the one that is a generic brand and saves some bucks before they hike the prices.
Come on Gen Z’ers encourage the upcoming brands to make them a big name tomorrow!
11. Nothing wrong with the idea of attending a local school or a state college
Education is slowly losing its sheen because knowledge is everywhere and accessibility is getting easier each passing day with the advent of new technologies. Educate yourself and complete the formalities by getting the certificates. A community college can save you thousands of dollars provided you have an Associate’s degree before continuing at a four-year university. Nope, please don’t waste your money on a name.
Agreed, you might miss all the typical fun and college experiences but the choice is yours to fix on something that can give you long-term benefits.
Education is for the future but saving money makes sense too.
12. Get a job, find another if you want to quit
When you are jobless it pushes you to borrow money because your entire financial health rests on the monthly income. Job insecurity has always been around for ages. What is the remedy? A part-time job suffices the gap in income and if you can manage the daily expenses then you are doing well. No worries, if you can’t socialize when you were employed. When things return to normalcy then you will know how important it was to have an alternative source of income.
We built the dams only to have water when there are no rains and the river goes dry.
13. Frivolously spending extra money from job bonuses is a lost opportunity to save money
There was a time when people were going crazy with bonuses or any extra money that they earned. It all went towards a car, shopping, and everything that they thought they were unable to buy.
Well, it was trending back then but today it simply doesn’t fit in your lives Gen Z’ers! Look at all these recessions, global economic downturns, unemployment, population explosion, pandemic, and whatnot? Nobody knows! Don’t dare touch that money, never. It is a financial shield that will protect you or a key to close all the debts that you acquired or will be acquiring in the future.
Save your bonuses for the big day, mates!
14. Don’t jump into a decision out of desperation to meet your financial needs
The world is populated with people who need money to run their normal lives and hence we have so many financial institutions competing among themselves to offer money with different options to choose from. Beware of these not all are friendly and helpful because each one has its drawbacks, limitations and of course, risks too.
Last-minute loans, credit cards (we already said no!), payday loans can become a recurring activity in your life. In any case, going for these services should be the last resort because it is a give and take policy. If you are in a position to pay back then it’s fine but any delay from your side can ruin the very purpose of borrowing the money.
Maybe asking a favor from a trusted friend or family member until your next paycheck is safer, healthier, and can buy you more time to repay compared to financial services.
Just hang on guys, there is a rope!
15. Relationships aren’t complicated make sure you talk under the rug
Getting into a relationship is easy and breaking the same too, what follows is something most people can’t digest, and most of the time it is about money. If you know about your partner’s financial approach then your relationship is like a smooth sailing ship even when the tides are strong. Mellow down a bit with your partner, give some time to understand what works and what doesn’t. Maturity lies in discussion and decision-making.
Weddings are old-fashioned and let people around you adore your relationship and not your lavish weddings. It is better to live a simple life than having a huge debt and spending more time to close it.
Be Love-ridden and not debt-ridden!
16. Stop moving out of your parents’ or guardians’ home hastily
Look, there is nothing wrong with staying with your parents for as long as possible as long as it is saving you money. Rent and mortgage can be a very prominent regular expense compared to others and if you can manage to delist it then you are almost on track to make some savings.
You can never default with these bills and so if that is taken care of remaining expenses may look very insignificant.
Family bonding matters over money!
17. Defaulting on your student loans can affect your credit in the long run
Two things, if you are not consistent in paying the loan amount then it can lead to an investment of more time to clear it which means the diversion of focus towards your savings, and the other being bad credit. Both cases might take away valuable time to set it right and push you in a defensive strategy while sacrificing your goals and wishes.
The faster the settlement of student loans healthier the financial status.
18. Honesty with your friends and family in money matters clear your path to savings
COVID-19 has been an eye-opener for everybody in terms of health awareness and financial well-being. Be honest with your family and friends if there is a dinner out, or a trip is out of your budget. Chances are, they might not be able to afford it either! Be simple and enjoy the simpler things in life. Make a meal at home together, socialize with your most loved ones, or play games.
The template of life is less complicated. We made it intricate.
19. Give up rideshare apps instead use public transportation as much as possible
Living in a city and commuting is all about Uber and rideshare, it’s a luxury. Again, it should be sparingly used and not regularly if you want to save time. When there is no need then public transport is the safest and cheapest way to travel.
If you attend a late-night party and get drunk then use an Uber service it makes more sense. Prioritize the spending based on necessity and not availability
20. Respect your financial mistakes as they turn you into a money management expert
Even a magic wand can’t change you into an expert when it comes to money management. Being frugal, responsible, and smart are ways that can put you on track to managing money but having said that it is very important to know when to express these qualities. If you are frugal to spend on something related to health then you have just invited more expenses for the future. Be smart, not over-smart, trying to live in other’s money is ethically incorrect.
Overall, there are no rules but a positive attitude to master a skill and the idea is to kick-start very early in your life. Encountering more and more bad financial experiences can make you a pro!
Love your life, celebrate it, don’t waste time and money, happy living!
By Karthik V.