Financial Challenges Facing Millennials

2018-01-23   minute read

Lifestyle Debt

Glasses on a pad of paper with calculations. A pen sits on the pad of paper and there is a calculator on the side

High financial expectations coupled with harsh employment realities can leave recent post-secondary graduates feeling a little anxious and overwhelmed. The competitive job market, combined with lower than anticipated income and higher than expected costs are some of the realities facing post-secondary graduates.

The pressures mount as graduate students struggle to become financially independent, live on their own, pay back their outstanding student loan and ultimately, save enough money to afford the down payment on their future home. Millennials are often overwhelmed by this situation.

Here are some ways to take control of your financial situation:

1. Check your expectations – Many millennials graduate from their post-secondary institution expecting a generous pay cheque and a lifestyle on par to the one they've had to date. Reality bites hard here: you're probably going to earn less than you thought at the start of your career, your lifestyle likely will be more expensive than you realize and that means you're going to have to make some sacrifices to reach your goals.

2. Live below your means – Everyone has dreams that are beyond what can be reasonably attained in the here and now. Part of a successful and fulfilling life is learning how to make the best of what you have and parlaying that eventually into those dreams. Reduce your ongoing expenses: live in the basement apartment. Forgo fancy restaurants and the bar. Pick the cheap seats for shows / concerts / sporting events. Identify things that should be rewards, not expectations and enjoy them sparingly when you're getting your financial feet under yourself.

3. Proper Budgeting – Learn to save for the things you really want. If you always get what you want by taking on debt, you are probably going to face a myriad of debt challenges as you get older. That wonderful trip to Hawaii you've been eyeing? Don't put it on your credit card– save up for it by taking a bit from every pay cheque and putting it into a savings account. With proper budgeting, you will never have to incur debt to get things.

4. Learn cooking skills to make your life more efficient – Many millennials eat out just as much, if not more, than they do at home. That is a huge drain on finances. Learn how to cook for yourself. Sunday evening is a good opportunity to try out a fun recipe and the added upside is that you would have made yourself dinner for the next few evenings. There are plenty of free resources online that will be useful. Knowing how to make actual food lowers the costs of living, allowing you to save more money or pay off your student loan sooner.

All of these tips will help you live a financially balanced lifestyle. However, if you are having trouble dealing with debt, contact a Licensed Insolvency Trustee with MNP Ltd for a free consultation. We will be able to advise you on what solutions are available to help you address the problem.

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