Today, I read an article on USA Today about millennials and money and wanted to share some thoughts on this subject. The information came from an online survey of 1,320 millennials (18-34).
This is an awesome article with some very interesting stats in there, but I’m only going to focus on a couple right now. (Although, I am STOKED that 2/3 of millennials are ready to wipe out debt!)
The article detailed out some findings such as:
Okay, so we know more about Instagram and Facebook and not as much about personal finance. Not a shocker, right? But this information seems to be a bit conflicting when reading the next statistic:
How is it that in the same survey we can openly admit that we are inexperienced, unprepared and have the least amount of knowledge on money, yet at the same time 84% are very confident + somewhat confident in our ability to manage our own personal finances? If we had 10 people, 8 of those would say they are confident with their finances, while only 2 would say—“nope, I need some help.”
Let me put this into perspective.
If you are asked to rate your knowledge on the following subjects and performing surgery ranks the lowest (17%)…meaning you don’t have experience or knowledge in this area. Then you are asked to rate the your confidence in the ability to perform surgery and you say you are very confident in performing surgery, eyebrows might raise.
Guys, of course I’m being somewhat comical here, but this doesn’t really make sense.
The problem is overconfidence.
Personal finance is one of those areas that we all have to figure out. Yet, because it’s such a commonality in our lives, we just assume we know it all. Very similar to nutrition and working out, we think it’s simple.
Over simplifying is part of the problem. Oversimplifying leads to embarrassment and fear of asking for help when we have no clue what we are doing.
Money should not be a woo-woo topic. It’s not something we inherently know how to do. If it were that “easy,” we wouldn’t be drowning in debt, buying sh*t we can’t afford, and justifying it by saying, “but the interest rate is low.”
If it were that easy, we wouldn’t have 60% of college graduates saying they are satisfied with their finances, when the average student loan is $30,000 and starting salary is $45,000 if you are lucky.
Let me just step on my soap box for a minute and be frank with you.
Heck, from what I’m seeing and hearing working with millennials is, many college students have completely bought into the lie that once they graduate, life will be better. Their income will increase to $50-60,000 a year, they will be able to pay off student loan in a breeze, and everything will be peachy financially.
If it were that easy, we wouldn’t have educated people paying on student loans well into their 30s and 40s. This is not reality for many people.
It’s not that easy. Because money is common in our lives, does not mean that managing it is all common sense. You still have to learn, practice, and educate yourself.
A college degree does not guarantee financial success, no more than playing the lottery everyday guarantees you will win.
We need to stop thinking we know everything and get the education we need.
Forever livin’ debt free,
What are your thoughts? Where do you think the problem stems from? Comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts.