A millennial’s mindset regarding personal finance is believed to be majorly flawed.
But why? Are we really that lazy, financially irresponsible, unrealistic..? Feel free to insert whatever you’ve heard around. They all sum up to one conclusion. Millennials are killers of a brighter financial future. Right? Wrong.
Actually, I think millennials are positive, interesting, creative and what the world needs to make a significant change. We have some vices but…doesn’t every generation?
Our financial priorities may be a little different from the older generation. Many millennials are really inspired to fire their boss and start earning passive income.
Some of us are so immersed in technology (social media fads) that we forget about growing our personal finances.
We might be handling technology in a not so productive way. So…what do we do then?
As a millennial, I personally think everyone should be talking more about how we can leverage technology to do good rather than ranting about our flaws.
So I decided to sit with a number of the wise, older generation to get some insights into creating a positive financial mindset in a millennial.
One thing was clear. Millennials are more focused on acquiring happiness which is the most vital thing in life. The problem is, they might be going about it the wrong way, but that is something that can be changed.
What is the first thing that leads to change? Awareness. After being aware of the bad habit, the source of the bad habit and it’s intensity, you will be ready for the next step. Change.
This inspired me to collect the top flaws of a millennial, the possible sources of the flaws and how we can facilitate positive change. Let’s dive in!
1. We Lack Focus
This is one of the most overlooked aspects of success. Millennials tend to make plans but drift with the life of others, forgetting their goals. After college, most millennials search for jobs with the aim of accumulating income to start a business or working hard to climb the co-operate ladder. Both are great goals if they’ll bring you happiness, but do you focus enough to achieve them?
Lack of focus on our financial goals is a big challenge. In Kenya, the economy is inflating as time goes and if a millennial loses focus on a two-year goal, the likely time they can take to achieve the same goal might take more than the two years. That’s a possibility in many countries. This does not apply to economy affected countries only.
Ideas are getting re-invented every day and you are not the only one thinking about them. So in order to make it in this competitive sphere, we have to act early. It’s now or never.
2. We Make Excuses
I get it. You have accumulated student loans, House affordability in the US is a challenge, There is unemployment in Nigeria, Kenya’s market for what you are passionate about is almost zero…The list goes on. Do you think those challenges started today?
These challenges are always recurring just like fashion does. Just that, they go away when people overcome them. Though not really. More come to make you stronger because it’s a constant fight.
We have to find ways to make anything work with what we have, no excuses. No one cares that I can’t afford to purchase a home. No one. Millennials are making too many excuses (including me).
The universe has a way of making it work for one who seeks answers. You only have to try harder and smarter and stop thinking a pity party will solve anything. You’ll be postponing success and realize it when someone like you makes it against all odds. I hope this time it’ll be you and me.
I really don’t want to postpone success, excuses are something I am ready to erase in my vocabulary. You with me? Great.
3. We Focus On Our ”Image” Instead Of The ”Real Deal”
I bet your Instagram followers think you are richer than you really are. Yeah, most millennials are cherishing validation. But why? I don’t know…I guess it feels good. Everyone has their reasons but that bad money habit will murder our financial goals in no time.
If you do the math and separate the approval induced overspending, you’ll be amazed.
It’s not going to be easy but it’ll be best if you cut down spending that is provoked by wanting approval. Whoever can’t accept the real you are to be ignored. The amount of time it will take for a low income earning millennial to be a millionaire is longer than you think.
4. We Are Self Entitled
How many times have you felt like you deserve that promotion? Did you get it?
”Well, millennials tend to feel like they deserve something without working for it.”
That’s one of the things one of the old folks really emphasized. He even joked that I felt like he should answer my questions.
Haha…I can’t lie, I felt like we deserved to know where we are going wrong.
No matter what we think, we have to prove that we deserve something. Self-entitlement is tangled with narcissism and a demanding habit. That is one of the things that ruin millennial’s finances. They later discover that no one cares to give them anything on a silver platter. Most of that realization time is our mid-twenties.
That’s a lot of wasted space and time if you ask me. And let me be clear…I am no millennial financial saint and even as I write some of our flaws that I’ve been told about, I am learning a lot.
Hell! Even parents feel like they should donate our inheritance to charity. Why?
Gary said the other day, ”No one has ever let me down. I never expect anything from anyone.”.
The truth is, we demand too much than what we actually work for. Then we end up being the worst entrepreneurs. Those who focus more on the money coming in than the value they provide others.
We have to work for anything we want. We can’t expect even respect from anyone for free, we have to earn it.
5. We Create A Roof To Abandon Reality
This is an overconfidence issue. We believe we can do anything, and it’s inspiring…but we can’t avoid the reality of this world. I can be obsessed with ideas and visualize just how it can be if this and that…but the truth remains. The idea has to be viable regarding economic factors.
Reality can smack you in the face if you decide to live in a dream for quite long. We should embrace reality and integrate our ideas into it.
6. We Are Selfish
The other day I went for a latte and the waitress was all grumpy. She was chatting on her phone while waiting to give me my order. I sat there and felt like it has been too long so I raised my eyes to the counter. My order was on the counter but the waitress was still on her phone. I went over to fetch it and she was so embarrassed that she was about to take it…I was quicker. She was about to say sorry but I asked her, ”Do you love your job?”. She told me that she hated it and she can’t wait to quit later on that month to become an actress. ”I am really sorry, can I serve you better next time?”, she added.
See, millennials have a tendency of being selfish sometimes. We talk about Karma. We forget that if we do good, it comes right back. Let’s do good for others and expect nothing from them. They’ll show us the kindness we never knew existed.
7. We Are the Masters Of Procrastination
We think that we still have time to make money. Most millennials do not really look into their financial future. They postpone the day they’ll be ”serious” about their financial life.
If you are even twelve years old, start thinking about your personal finances. I wish I started earlier myself.
Learn and start building wealth early.
If I can overcome procrastination, anyone can. I was the worst of all. We all know how fatal procrastination can be. Learn to motivate yourself from mentors. We no longer have to go looking for mentors the old-fashioned way. The list of people we can learn from is endless (Gary Vaynerchuk, J.Money(blogger), Jay Shetty…) but do not stop there. Start creating your success by cultivating their best qualities.
We are living in a time where the complexity of the modern world demands more than in the older times. The strategies that we have to implement in order to be successful have to be a developed form of the basic principles. Maybe that’s when we are misunderstood by the older generation. We have to work smarter than ever for us to achieve a balanced happy life. Most importantly, millennials have to create more time for financial literacy.
For us, millennials to succeed in juggling our commitments (home ownership, paying student debt, saving for retirement, maintaining healthy relationships, saving for rainy days…), we have to care about financial literacy.
We have to be informed of the ‘’why’’, ‘’how’’ and ‘’what next’’ of the money world.
Millennials have many bad habits. But the light we can shine this world the moment we prioritize what matters can be blinding. I am working on my bad habits. Are you ready to do the same?
Let’s interact on the comment section. Millennial or not, I wish to know what your views are on millennials and what should be done to make this beautiful world an incredible space.