It’s rare to go a week without Millennials being mentioned in the news. Topics of how to work with them, market to them, or their narcissism. But is this portrayal accurate?
As a Millennial, I can tell you that a lot of the generalizations out there about us do have a lot of truth to them. Perusing my Facebook or Twitter accounts gives me a taste of what those my age are up to. Many of those views and opinions and selfies can be pretty cringe-worthy. You’ll get updates of so-and-so going on some amazing vacation, smatterings of pictures with cocktails and short dresses. USA Today found that the reason behind these extravagant outings is thanks to the amount of stress Millennials face:
Millennials in the survey most often cited stress (21%) and excitement (20%) as the emotions that lead them to spend more than they can reasonably afford. According to the American Psychological Association, Millennials are the most stressed-out generation. People cope with stress in countless ways, from drinking a few extra cocktails to spending more than they can afford. Stress-driven spending may take the form of “throwing money at the problem” to solve it, buying something just to feel better or booking a vacation on impulse.
So why are Millennials stressed out? The Globe And Mail decided to get to the root of that problem and asked readers what their biggest financial fears are. They had over 1200 responses. Here are some of their troubling answers:
“Our wages are not going up, the world is falling apart and my family – child included – is stuck in a condo because housing prices are completely insane,” says JM, a mom in her thirties living in Toronto.
“Where will I raise my child? How can I afford a home without bankrupting us all? How long can a family last in 600 square feet? How can anyone trying to raise a family afford a $600,000-plus mortgage? It keeps me up at night.”
“I have a post-graduate degree, six-plus years of professional experience, but can’t find a job that pays more than $13 an hour,” says AC from Thunder Bay, Ont. “How do you live off that? How do you pay off your student loan debt, buy a house, and start a family? I can barely pay my rent.”
“If one of us loses our jobs during a recession, how will we pay the mortgage on the house we just bought – which cleaned out our savings? Can we have another child while we’re still in low-physical-risk years, without putting ourselves at high fiscal risk?”
Honestly, reading those comments actually brought tears to my eyes because it’s so easy to relate to them. Every single one of those fears is based in reality and are very real concerns for those of us in my generation. While we get pegged as whiners or lazy, the truth is that we got stuck with crappy leftovers from previous generations. The housing market, recessions, even down to climate change and dwindling social security benefits. For many of us, the future is looking pretty grim and that’s exactly where all the stress stems from. So maybe all of those vacations and extra cocktail purchases are necessary for morale. In fact, taking vacations can increase productivity. The trick is balance and not overspending. Rather than looking down your nose, reach out and lend some advice. Writing off the concerns and fears of the generation following you is only going to create a dismal future for everyone. After all, there will come a time that Millennials will be leaders. Don’t you want them to succeed?