Millennials are saving money and working hard, despite what you hear from the witless wonks and social commentators who mock them on cable news. Often portrayed as being lazy, self-centered, spendthrifts who live in their parent’s basement, the reality is just the opposite.
The truth is they are weighted down in large part by the economy they inherited from the people who are putting them down. One good example is they earn $4,000 less than the same age group did just twenty years ago while holding down similar jobs. The truth is in numbers. Statistically, millennials are hard-working, well-educated and are very careful in how they spend their money. In fact, there are several unique ways that millennials are saving money than previous generations. Here are just a few tricks millennials are using to save money that we can all learn from:
They Rent with Roommates
One of the more significant ways that millennials have had to adapt to save money is in their housing situation. They rent rather than buy, not so much because they want to but because most U.S. cities have an affordable housing crisis. Blame games for its run from poor city planning to corporate greed. Whatever the cause, the affordability crisis has millennials adapting. They are sharing rentals to save money. Getting roommates can help cover the cost of rent and utilities in some cities up to $700 per month. This adds up to big savings.
They Limit the Use of Credit Cards
Rather than going into credit card debt, studies have shown that 67% of millennials don’t even use credit cards with 58% preferring to get paid in cash or use new payment methods like digital wallets. They are the lowest demographic without credit cards and generally only use them to build credit. In fact, they are focused on being responsible with their money, spending within their means and avoid extravagant expensive material items or wasteful larger purchases.
They Go Out Less
Often shamed by witless wonks on cable news for excessive buying of “skinny lattes and espressos,” it is those wonks who actually spend more going out to eat or stopping at the local Starbucks. Millennials spend less than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers not only on eating out but on other related expenditures like iced lattes. Instead, millennials often brown bag their lunches and have their morning coffee at home.
They Know How to Use Technology to Their Advantage
Having come of age in a hyper-connected world, it’s no surprise that millennials excel at navigating technology. They automate saving money with apps like Acorns which round up purchases and places the difference into a diversified investment portfolio or Digit that aids in monitoring their spending habits and teaches them good spending habits. They use banks like Chime which provides features for automatic savings. They also use apps to earn cashback, rewards, pop-up coupons, or to find the best deal online.
They Use Public Transportation
Because millennials live in urban areas at a higher rate than other generations, they have foregone buying cars and use public transportation. Rather than taxis, Uber, or Lyft to get around town, they walk, ride a bus or subway, or use bikes to get where they are going. Public transit over driving a car can save upwards of $1,000 per month in big city commuting, as well as serious aggravation of wasting time being stuck in traffic and traffic jams.
They Have a Side Gig(s)
First jobs on entry-level salaries in today’s economy are, at the very least, underwhelming. In order to save money, millennials have turned to side gigs to boost their earnings. Whether seasonal part-time jobs or using skills they’ve learned from being a millennial, such as building web pages or managing social media, they are able to make extra income around the typical 9-5!
They Cut Cable TV
Millennials have learned to save money by cutting the cord to cable TV. They have moved on from paying hefty cable bills to using much less expensive streaming platforms—there are hundreds of them competing for your hard-earned dollar. Millennials know more than their parents that you don’t have to wean yourself off of watching TV in your downtime, only that you can pay a lot less to watch TV in your downtime. Cutting cable TV and switching to streaming can save upwards of $800 a year.
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