I doubt this is news to you, but in case you haven’t noticed, the Millennial generation gets a bad rap. They’re often accused of being shallow, self-absorbed, lazy, and overly sensitive. This has created an impression that Millennials are worthless no-goods who aren’t worth your time.
The truth couldn’t be more different. While it’s true that the Millennials are definitely a different breed from the likes of the Baby Boomers and Generation Xers who preceded them, they are most definitely not bad people. If you take the time to really look, Millennials are often some of the most inspired, upbeat, forward-thinking, and intelligent contributors to society today.
The real truth is that society today appreciates the efforts of Millennials, even if we won’t admit it. Grandma may be bad-mouthing those youngsters in public, but the fact that she gets to keep up with her grandbabies on Facebook is all thanks to Mark Zuckerberg – a bonafide Millennial.
And technology isn’t the only space where Millennials are really shaking things up. They take a completely different approach to living a good life than any other generation before them. They’re largely succeeding with their silent revolution against established traditions and, contrary to what you may have heard, aren’t blowing a ton of money to do it.
If you’d like to be more frugal, while still enjoying all that life has to offer, consider these three tips that were inspired by the lifestyles of this fascinating group of young people.
I’m sure at some point someone told you that the way to get ahead in life was to get a steady office job, work your way through the ranks, and retire with a steady pension. I hate to break it to you – that’s quickly going away. The traditions of working in an office for 40 to 60 hours a week, only to still struggle with debt, left an entire generation of Boomers and Gen Xers exhausted, depressed, and broke by the time they retired.
The Millennials watched all of this happen, and they’re having none of it.
Taking advantage of the internet, Millennials are seeking opportunities to skip the office altogether and work remotely. The result has been a marked increase in productivity, better work/life balances, and most importantly, huge savings.
Without the need to commute, Millennials are saving on gas costs, while employers save on office space. Many Millenials are even skipping the car-buying rodeo altogether and opting to walk or bike where they need to go. They’re putting more money in their pockets while they enjoy more time to be with family and friends, and enjoy life’s experiences.
Rent, Don’t Buy
Home ownership was a big deal for Boomers and Gen Xers. It was a status symbol that announced to the world, “I worked hard and earned this.” For Millennials? Not so much.
Millennials have by and largely abandoned homeownership as one of their key goals in life. For one thing, renting gives them more flexibility to come and go where they please. More importantly, renting saves them a lot of money.
There’s no denying that many monthly mortgages payments now cost less than average rent, but Millennials look below the surface to find the savings in rent. They don’t have to pay any home owner’s insurance, maintenance is covered in their rental agreement, and having roommates doesn’t bother them a bit.
This is especially true in places cities like Omaha, Lexington, and Austin, where you don’t have to have a six-figure salary to afford good rental housing. Compared to the average homeowners today, Millennial renters are living like royalty.
If you thought that home ownership was the best way to save money in this day and age, I strongly encourage you to follow the Millennial’s example. Take another look at the many ways renting can save you money.
Use Technology to Monitor Your Money
Millennials not only understand technology, but they also embrace it. For everything from socializing to shopping, the most powerful tool at most Millennials’ disposal is their cell phone. And it’s not just for entertainment either.
Despite what you might have heard, Millennials do care about how much they spend, and they monitor it closely, using money monitoring software like BillGuard, Dollarbird, and Fudget to monitor their expenses against their income. They use this technology to not only monitor their account but also budget for the things they really care about. And no – that doesn’t mean Pumpkin Spice lattes from Starbucks.
While you can do essentially the same thing with a checkbook, Millennials have embraced the versatility that technology offers them to track their finances on the go. Before they make a purchase, they’ll often whip out their phones to see if they can (and should) afford it. It’s freed them from the stress of wondering where their money is going and if they’re on a wise financial track.
To help save you money, and put your savings into the things that really matter to you, follow the Millennial trend of using the free technology available to take your budget on the go!