We live in a time when the older generations have reversed their historic role of supporting the young and instead have dumped financial obligations on them.
Baby Boomers receive net benefits of $300,000 from Social Security and Medicare, while Millennials are expected to lose over $400,000 if inflation does not destroy these programs entirely. The cost of Obamacare falls much more heavily on the young, and bad economic policies have kept many young people out of the workforce. Over half of Millennials are concerned about their debt, and almost half are still living with family.
Here are some ideas for Millennials:
- Become entrepreneurial. It is a mistake to trust big business or government with your financial future.
- The internet has opened up whole new industries and opportunities. Move beyond playing in it and socializing in it to making money on it.
- The Baby Boomers lived on credit, thinking that they would always make more tomorrow. You know better, so live on a cash basis.
- Learn to control your spending by developing a personal budget where you spend less than you earn. Start by reviewing your own actual expenses over the past six months, and then see if you need to change your spending habits.
- A budget is not a straitjacket that ties you up. It's more like a corset that shapes you up.
- Avoid expensive, trendy consumer items. What's really cool is having money left at the end of the month.
- Establish credit with auto loans and gasoline credit cards. Keep up your payments and use your credit to buy a home.
- If you find that you can't pay your debts on your budget, you will need to prioritize your payments. Put your family's needs first, including auto and home loans, and develop a debt relief plan using our system of debt relief.
- Use your budget to help you negotiate lower student loan payments if you are struggling. Student lenders have power like the IRS, far beyond normal creditors, but you can usually make an agreement you can live with.
- Ladies, remember that God gave Adam a job before He gave him a wife. Premature marriage, especially teen marriages, can lead to poverty.
- Young couples should include room in the budget for children. Save a little more and spend a little less, and you'll be able to afford the little ones when they come.
- Consider a home-based business if you want to be a stay-at-home Mom. Your gross income will go down, but your expenses will go down much more, so your take-home income will go up.
- The money you save in your 20s may not seem like much, but it will be eight times as much, if you invest it wisely, when you reach retirement age. Start saving now.
- Economic trouble and bad government policies come and go. Stay optimistic, work hard, never give up and you will prosper.
- Financial freedom is a lifelong goal. If you lay a good foundation in your 20s and 30s, you'll get there faster.
- Learn from the mistakes of the Baby Boomers, as Solomon said,
"Better a poor but wise youth than an old and foolish king who will no longer be admonished" (Eccl. 4:13).
Ron Allen is a Christian businessman, CPA and author who serves in local, national and international ministries, spreading a message of reconciliation to God, to men and between believers. He is founder of the International Star Bible Society, telling how the heavens declare the glory of God; the Emancipation Network, which helps people escape from financial bondage; and co-founder with his wife, Pat, of Corporate Prayer Resources, dedicated to helping intercessors.
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