Times are rough and very different from our grandparent’s time. Before this we often hear about our grandparents having to work many jobs to save up money to live a comfortable life, that was in the 50’s to 70’s. Then, it came to our parent’s time, where it wasn’t all that easy as well, some people’s parents had it difficult and had to be a child labour to get money to help support their family, and mind you that the people back then had a huge family with more than 10 siblings and such.
Some families are lucky enough to be able to send their children to study in local universities, some abroad even, and these families are considered very well to do in the 70’s – 90’s. Fast forward to today’s society, majority of the parents can afford to send their children to better tertiary education hubs and provide a better lifestyle for their children, some may own more than 1 property and more than 1 vehicle and still have a luxurious lifestyle.
Yes, times are different! You would think that the economy will only get better from then and now all of us will live a better and easier life because our parents could? Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but it’s not going to be like how you imagined, an easy life. Majority of the people who were born in the 90’s & 00’s are having a tough time making ends meet, some are lucky because they have been awarded with the ” FA-MA Scholarship” ( Father, Mother Scholarship) , while others have to work twice as harder than the rest to get what they want. Some, we have a good job, climbing the corporate ladder to become a part of the management team and such, earning more than the people our age, we look good with cars and property and yet we still struggle every month to make ends meet.
So, what went wrong? What is the reason for Gen Y and Gen Z to be Young, Successful but Broke? We often see many of these millennials wanting to become entrepreneurs, and you see them owning branded accessories, clothes, shoes and wheels, you often think that they must be super rich and their bank account must be booming, but the truth is, this person may be living by pay cheque after pay cheque. It might be possible that they do not have their own savings and are living the lifestyle they want.
Though many won’t accept it, but the society is making us live our life like it’s a competition, a show we have to put on for others, for people to envy, to compare, to look up to use. In return for all that, the whole salary is used to pay the monthly commitments and lifestyles. Secretly behind everything, we choose to starve ourselves to be able to continue living this lifestyle. It’s pitiful, but it’s the truth, and why is it this way?
Before the internet, everything was simpler and more direct and most people had an actual social life, but once social media sites came in, it changed the whole society. We can’t ignore technology, it’s advancing and we either catch up with it or be rejected by it, social media sites are now a major part of our lives, as much as we hate to admit it, it is a tool that we use for people to take notice of us and our life and what we are up to. And in all honesty in this, we want to gain the acknowledgement and envy of others.
Coming from a millennial myself, I’ve broken down the causes of why my generation is young, successful but broke.
Lack of Wealth Management Knowledge
We know that money is important, but we just can’t help ourselves when it comes to buying the latest designer bag, lining up for a new released series in a clothing store, keep in trend with the latest sneakers design, enjoying a meal or two at the most expensive restaurant, having a lifestyle that we see from social media influencers. It makes you want to own all of that too, and we know that our salary will be coming in the 5th of next month, therefore we can do whatever we want, moreover, we are young. This is the mentality of my fellow millennials, and we are not taught to save up our pennies for a rainy day, and most of us will ask our parents for help when we really are out of cash, and this cycle keeps replaying itself every month.
Emergency savings are important for unforeseen situations such as, a punctured tyre, a car accident, a sudden need of cash to service your vehicle and more. The point here being, we need to learn how to save more money, and it goes a long way. Every penny you save will lead you to a more comfortable life in the future.
Lack of Planning in Life
Being told that we are still young is part of the reason why we are successful and broke. Our parents at our age might have already achieved their goals in getting a new house or car or travelling the world, while we are here waiting to be spoon fed. I need to give credit to those who really try their best to save up and plan ahead, however nobody is there to tell us if what we are doing is right or wrong. Some of us take life very seriously and some of us live life day by day, because we take advantage of the fact that we are young. How young is young? If you were born in 1990, you are now almost 30 years old, what have you achieved? Do you have a certain amount in your bank account that can support you for at least 3-6 months if you become jobless? What do you want to achieve in the next 10 years of your life?
Being young is an advantage yes, but you should leverage on your age to earn more money instead of letting money slip away by using it in the wrong places, although retirement is 30 – 40 years from now, but it’s always good to plan early and save up early for a more comfortable life. If you plan to get married, do you have enough money to start your own family? Will you fall into financial difficulty? Plan ahead, always make sure of what you want and what you need in order to achieve your goal, though you might not know what you want for now, but you’ll need to make sure you have enough when things doesn’t go as planned.
Lack of Sense of Responsibility
How many can say that they are responsible for the decisions they make in life? Unfortunately, it’s easy to play the blame game and point fingers at others before thinking if it’s our own fault. We must accept that we always make mistakes and we have to be held accountable for our own actions. If you have decided on something, we have to accept the consequences of the choices we make, and that includes commitments.
If millennials are more accepting to accept these points, it is then we are able to grow and build better society for all.