Financial Challenges of Millennials (3 Minute Debt Break)

2022-01-10

Lifestyle Debt

Millennials are the generation that is quickly rising to dominance in Canada. They represent a highly influential age range of 25 to 40 years and comprise more than a quarter of the population. The common denominator among all generations is a desire for stronger financial health. That is, achieving a sense of economic stability within a set of values that helps sustain physical, emotional, and financial wellbeing.

Man and woman sitting down, looking at his sheet of paper

If you’re a millennial, there’s a few ways to do that, including identifying and prioritizing goals. This may feel very challenging, particularly as you may be juggling day to day commitments including post-secondary education, children, your first home, or your relationship. A significant turning point often occurs when your personal pendulum swings from being financially reactive to financially proactive about these commitments.

Start by thinking about the things that are important to you. Find a way to frame these priorities as SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) goals and commit them to record in some way, like a paper or digital journal. 

Track all your spending for one to two months to understand where your money is going and what you’re financially focused on right now. This is usually very enlightening. Next, categorize your spending into discretionary or non-essential, and non-discretionary, needs, not optional. You may be surprised to discover your expenses might be greater than your monthly take-home income — which means you need credit just to help you break even every month. This is not sustainable long term and will almost certainly cause a decline in your financial health. 

As a millennial, you will have the same issues any generation has when it comes to achieving stronger financial help. The desires may be a little different, but the goals are the same. And it’s important to know that not all debt is bad. An affordable mortgage, student loans, small business loans, etc. which help you build the life you want to live can be good decisions in the right circumstances. However, consumer debt with nothing to show for it is an indication you’re spending beyond your means. It likely has a higher interest cost associated with it too.

Consider whether credit cards, pay-day loans or lines of credit are keeping you from investing in your future and achieving your goals. Take stock of who you owe money to, the types of debt you have and what strategies might help you pay it down in a reasonable timeframe. If your analysis has determined repaying your debt and achieving a balanced budget is impossible on the creditors’ terms, a MNP Licensed Insolvency Trustee offers Free Confidential Consultation and is equipped to discuss all your available options.

 

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