The Question Matters

Gen X can teach Gen Y how to save and spend

Posted in Generation X,Generation Y,Leadership,Next Generation Leaders by treyfinley1008 on May 10, 2010
Tags: , , , , , ,

Sometimes lost in the Gen X’s frustration over the late retirement plans of Boomers is this eventual complication–Gen Y isn’t saving, which has several potential consequences.  First, it means they could be creating similar problems for the generations that succeed them.  It could also result in a lack of appreciation of how over leveraged, under-funded budgets affect our overall economy.  (Surely anyone paying attention for oh, the last two and half years, should have some sense of this.)   Will they be able to afford homes with their current debt level?  You can probably think of many more.  In that vein, I’ve been saving links for a little while about the finances of Gen Y.  Let me say to my generation–Gen X–that this represents an opportunity: the opportunity to share what we’ve learned with those coming after us.  Here’s a summary of a few articles I’ve read recently.

First, the reality: Gen Y has lots of debt and no savings, and with their excess of debt (short-term and long-term) they do not have good prospects for saving any time soon.  Generation Y’s steep financial hurdles: Huge debt, no savings –

Article 1: My friend jenx67 shared this link today, which put me over the top to share these links I’ve been working on.  Lots of great books, internet tools, and a Gen Y writer’s transparent budget.  The author recently shared his net worth.

Article 2: Written by a Gen Y member herself, this author shares the follow stats while lamenting her generation’s lack of financial savvy.  Try these stats on for size.

  • The median credit-card debt of low- and middle-income people aged 18 to 34 is $8,200.
  • The average college debt for recent grads is more than $20,000 and rising.
  • People between the ages of 25 and 34 make up 22.7% of all U.S. bankruptcies (but just 14% of the population at large), according to a recent report.

Article 3: Here’s an article that’s light on the wrist-slapping and heavy on the practical tools.

Article 4: Finally, this blog subtitle that sums it all up: “Living like no one else so that later we can live like no one else.”

A little transparency on my part: my wife and I started strong in our marriage, quickly getting a leg up on at least 90% of our friends.  That’s much less so now, what with a layoff, two entrepreneurs in the house, and a recession that has restored many of our investments to their pre-2008 state, but still represents two years of stagnant growth (which beats the precipitous drop we saw).  What that stock market return has not done is magically increase our income.  It has taught us to better differentiate what we need to spend vs. what we want to spend.  I’ve got something I can teach my younger friends, and I can teach it as much from my failures as my successes.


4 Responses to 'Gen X can teach Gen Y how to save and spend'

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  1. I support the idea of a generation seeking guidance from the successor generation in money matters. No matter what the latter is always experienced in terms of real life instances and money games. Their knowledge can actually be a treasure to acquire and can help a great deal.

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  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Trey Finley. Trey Finley said: Gen X can teach Gen Y how to save and spend: […]

  3. A younger generation listening to an older generation would be something new, huh? 🙂

  4. sonnypi67 said,

    Yes. But will a younger generation actually take heed the advice of an older generation? History seems to suggest that this is the exception rather than the rule.

    Of course, I was raised by Silent Generation parents who grew up in very poor coal mine towns in West Virginia. As a result they taught me to be an obsessive saver and to view all debt as bad. Even so I’ve not managed to save nearly as much as I should. But at least I have no credit card debt or student loans. So that’s something.

    My daughter is in the generation after Gen Y/Millennials and I fret over the future she’ll have because of previous generations unwillingness to be fiscally conservative/responsible. I can only hope that she’ll realize early on how important it is take your financial matters seriously.

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