Back to School: Teaching Gen Y About Money

Do you have someone in your family that is part of Generation Y? Also known as Millennials, Generation Y refers to the generation currently in their mid-20’s to early-mid ’30s, who were born between 1980 and the early 2000s. Celebrated and criticised equally, this generation is characterised by its access to information, technology and travel more than previous generations. Equally, Gen Y has been shown to have very different attitudes to work and money than the generations that came before them.

Gen Y has also experienced an environment of economic volatility early in their adulthood, in some cases affecting their employment and their propensity to earn. For these reasons, many in this generation are choosing to live in the family home for longer and waiting until later in life to enter homeownership.

Research suggests a range of trends in how Generation Y thinks about money.  If you want to engage your Gen Y family member in improving their financial management skills or even involving them in the family finances, you might consider some of the following:

Create rules around the Bank of Mum and Dad

Whether borrowing, paying rent or contributing to household expenses, ensuring that your Gen Y is accountable for their use of the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ is a useful place to start. Pulling their weight and paying their share of household expenses creates a broader awareness around the practicalities of running a household and maintaining a certain lifestyle, and informs their understanding of what it takes to live independently.

Involve them in a long-term savings goal

Studies show that Gen Y shows consistent savings habits on a month-by-month basis, however, this does not necessarily equate to implementing long-term savings habits. Whether it’s an apartment or buying dad’s old car, help them create a tangible long-term savings goal that incentivises saving today.

Engaging with super

A persistent issue for superannuation is a lack of engagement from those who are furthest away from retirement, such as those currently in their 20’s and 30’s. People in this age bracket are also more likely to have several superannuation accounts due to the multiple job roles that characterise early stages of people’s employment lives. Talk to your Gen Y son or daughter about managing their superannuation, for example by selecting an investment option most appropriate for their life stage and risk preference, or consolidating multiple superannuation accounts to minimise fees.  This can be a useful way to start preparing them for making informed decisions with regards to their super.

Discuss debt

Generation Y is recorded to have more debt and at an earlier age than any other generation before them. While this may be in large part due to student loans, this trend is also resulting in longer debt repayment periods. If your Gen Y family member has a loan or credit card, make sure they are aware of their total principal and interest payments and help them create a practical repayment schedule. This may be part of a larger debt management plan.

Help them put a plan in place

While Gen Y is more than capable of creating a budget, few actually do so. From writing up a basic budget at home on Excel, through to visiting a financial adviser to get a rundown on options for future financial savings and goals, getting numbers down in black and white and tracking finances is a highly valuable exercise to start engaging your Gen Y family-member on money matters.

Encourage the entrepreneur

Statistics repeatedly show that Gen Y has a strong tendency towards entrepreneurship, with this age group comprising a large section of new company registrations over the past few years. This could be attributable to the attractiveness of new digital business models, a trend towards collaborative start-ups or simply a desire for self-employment. Whatever the case, if your Gen Y has an idea for a small business, you can guide them in turning this idea into a tangible outcome by providing personal, financial and administrative insight from your own experiences. Running a business is a meaningful way in which to learn to become more responsible with money.

General Advice Disclaimer

This article contains general advice only, which has been prepared without taking into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any person. You should, therefore, consider the appropriateness of the information in light of your own objectives, financial situation or needs and read all relevant Product Disclosure Statements before acting on the information. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the material, Paradigm Strategic Planning or Sentry Advice Pty Ltd will not bear responsibility or liability for any action taken by any person, persons or organisation on the purported basis of information contained herein. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, no person, persons or organisation should invest monies or take action on reliance of the material contained herein but instead should satisfy themselves independently of the appropriateness of such action.

Paradigm Strategic Planning Pty Ltd is an Authorised Representative of Sentry Advice Pty Ltd AFSL 227748

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