Millennials aren’t as bad with money as everyone thinks

By Kristin Wong

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Jan. 10 2014 1:30 p.m. MST

Generation Y didn’t invent entitlement and consumerism. If we’re all so much better than this generation, debt wouldn’t be such a problem. I’m not saying we’re totally to blame and we’re terrible people for having a mortgage and other debts to pay. Certainly, when it comes to a country’s economic trends, there are larger factors at play. I just find it ironic that we’re so quick to belittle an entire generation that, really, is just a younger version of our society as a whole.

We’ve all been there. The only difference between twenty-somethings of the past and twenty-somethings now is that this group went through the Great Recession. But in many ways, I think that’s given them a healthier financial outlook.

Optimism of youth

One more Pew study: Kim Parker, the associate director at the Pew Research Center, said this about one of their Millennial studies:

“In spite of hardships, they do have a real sense of optimism. They feel they have so much time ahead of them and that things will work out,” she says.

It’s idealistic, but that’s a pretty good attitude for a group of people that grew up in a recession and won’t have Social Security. But again, that’s how young people are. They’re optimistic. That optimism, mixed with a greater awareness about money issues is, I think, a good recipe for financial savviness. The idealism may wear off. That dark cloud may start looming a little closer to home. But we all grow up and adapt to our experiences and surroundings. I think recent trends show Generation Y is doing just that.

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