After recently leaving my credit card at the bar for the 100th time in my life, I decided this would be a prime opportunity to check my savings account. Not the type of person who religiously checks my statements (average once every few months…it’s bad I know), I figured why not, let me give it a gander. I pull out Bank of America’s app on my phone and I see the number.
…Initial thought: Why is the app not refreshing?! This is beyond absurd. Bank of America is a Multi-billion dollar company and they don’t have an up-to-date bank statement?Ridiculous.
…Second thought (and yell): Fuck.
Spoiler alert, the app was accurate.
After a year and a half working with what I’d say an average salary (I’m no Banker, but sure not a Public Relations Social Media Specialist Intern Trainee either), I couldn’t help but wonder: where did the money go?
Fortunately, I’m not alone.
Marketwatch recently released some mind-boggling numbers:
With student loans, more than 50% of Millennials have less than $1,000 saved up.
Only 5% of the $15.9 trillion in U.S. households’ mutual fund assets are held by millennials, according to ICI, the fund industry’s trade group.
Those middle-aged white guys probably named Steve (aka financial advisors) are taking notice: only 30% say they’re actively seeking clients under age 40, according to research firm Corporate Insight.
It’s a double edge sword because the future for Millennials is expected to bring in the MOOOLA. We’re already the most popular generation in the U.S., and the potential for wealth creation is huge as we approach our peak earning years; by 2020 Millennials could have $7 trillion in liquid assets.
I don’t know about you, but I’ll be lucky if I have $7 in liquid assets by 2020.
So what is happening here? What the hell are we spending our money on? Should we be saving the DOUGH?!
I decided to take a investigate my recent transactions to find out:
Trader Joe’s $25.63
CVS Pharmacy $15.93
North Beach Sushi $12. 47
Golden 7 Liquor and Deli $103.39
Relatively affordable. Incredibly mundane. Borderline alcoholic.
Typical recent transaction report for me, and probably at least half of you reading this (substitute your neighborhood for “North Beach” — I’m talking to you, residents of Murray Hill). Missing my biggest expense of all, rent — borderline criminal in San Francisco — you can gage exactly what my spending habits are.
Yet, at the end of the day, I’m okay financially. I’m not on the street. I can go on my Vegas trip once a year, afford a few small-talk drink dates per month, go to at least one music festival a year, and buy my Netflix/Spotify Premium subscriptions with ease.
“Balling out” is wisely uttered, but rarely used verbiage.
My mentality has always been: why save now? I’ll figure out my financial state when I’m 30. Then, as always, the below conversation commences with someone twice my age — let’s call this person, “BOOMER.”
BOOMER : You know, you’re clueless right?
Me: Hey, did I ever call you clueless when you attempted to use Emojis?
BOOMER: Okay fair enough, but it’s not just you, it’s your generation.
Me : Well, sir/mam, by living frugally with the BS stuff (cooking, Uberpool, etc) I can treat the next couple years with a “live-in-the-moment” mentality, while I build a career and a long-term plan. I’ve already changed jobs four times in less than two years, could you imagine building a long-term financial savings plan with that type of hopping? I really can’t.
DID THE MIC JUST DROP OR IS IT ME?!
So that was fun, BUT I’d still be naive to keep avoiding this whole personal finance headache; it really shouldn’t be all-in or nothing at all.
In the words of LeBron Raymone James, what should I do?
Unfortunately, besides the difficulty connecting with a non-Snapchat user, I can’t trust the Middle-aged white guy (neither can one in four Millennials). I just can’t do it.
What I can do is trust the trustworthy entity, or as we like to call it, Technology (SHOCKER). Wealthfront, LendingClub are only a few of the great options I’m starting to use to get a fresh start on saving/investing. That way, when I do have $7 of liquid assets, I’ll be ready to go!
It looks like ya’ll are on the same page.
In a survey by LinkedIn and market research firm Ipsos, nearly seven out of 10 millennials said they were open to trying financial products and services from nonfinancial brands (think Apple or Google).
Time to go with the gut, and at least begin prepping for the inevitable age 30 financial wake-up call.
But if all else fails, don’t worry, there is no age limit on our Friday night financial adventure of uber/sushi/uber/pregame/bar/pizza/netflix….or is there?