The slow economic recovery, high student loan debts and a dismal job market have all combined to cause the young people of today (a.k.a. Millenials) to have quite a bit of debt. We all know that it is not a good thing to walk around carrying boatloads of debt. But have today’s younger generation found their overwhelming debt to be something that causes them to feel regret?
Studies indicate that about one third of Millenials to say that they would have been better off if they would have went straight to work out of high school rather than pursuing their educations. More than half of these young people, in a study that was conducted by Wells Fargo, describe their debt as being their most pressing financial concern. Over 40 percent said that their debt is ‘overwhelming.’ A BMO study revealed that almost half of Millenials are actually losing sleep because of all the money they still owe, with over 50 percent of them begin so worried about their personal debts that they think about it many times over the course of a typical day.
All this debt isn’t just causing Millenials to be stressed out; it is also exacting a toll on their relationships. Nearly half of the young people surveyed said that they have argued with friends, family members and significant others about debt. Over half of these young people have had to borrow money from family or friends to help pay off their debts.
Taking a step back from all of this distressing information, it is easy to understand why so many Millenials feel like they will never be able to get out of debt. These young people have simply followed the directions that they learned from parents and teachers over the years, in a quest to be successful. They pursued an education, studied and put in the work it takes to get a degree. Little did they know that doing so during a recession would lead to a very long, drawn out recovery.
The financial hardships that Millenials have experienced are unprecedented. This is the first generation in recent years that may very well end up in worse financial shape than their parents. A study conducted by the Urban Institute revealed that someone who was 30 years old back in 2013 was worth 21 percent less than the average 30 year old was in 1983. That’s a pretty depressing statistic.
So are the financial hardships to blame, or do Millenials deserve some of the blame too? Some people say that this is a generation of young people who are either very lazy or super entitled. These facts might be true, but it is also a fact that the Millenials are the most educated generation to date, and that even if they would have chosen to work right after high school, they would still be experiencing severe financial strain because of the economic problems that have had an effect on everyone from the baby boomers to the current crop of young people getting ready to graduate from high school
Studies indicate that even though times are tough for Millenials that they are not giving up completely. A Pew Research study indicates that 88 percent of young people believe that they will be more financially stable in the future. One thing that these young people will have to do is to tame their taste for more extravagant things if they hope to get out of debt. It is impossible to have the latest and greatest gadgets, cars, homes and furniture when you are trying to get out of debt. If there is any hope for Millenials, it will only come if they learn to be responsible with their finances. This has been true for decades, and though Millenials might like to believe that they don’t have to play by the same rules that their parents did, only by learning a bit of financial responsibility will they be able to escape their exceedingly high levels of debt.
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