There are myths and realities about young adults and their financial decisions. Most people assume they are impulsive, spoiled and addicted to their devices. This may be true in some cases, but, just like people of any age, young adults are all over the spectrum.
I was happy to be one of dozens of contributors to this post by Kevin Owens Ask The Experts: Money Management for Young Professionals. This article is quite extensive and, like most financial articles, it sticks to the basics (the success and wisdom of common sense) but adds 2013 flavor by acknowledging the challenges young adults face that other generations did not (although they certainly had their own challenges). I think there are two unique challenges young adults now face:
– A Recovering Economy: While some people get superb jobs right out of the gate, others may struggle for months or years, furthering their discouragement. Anyone searching for a job needs to be doing a lot of work; volunteering, networking, and using social media strategically (make sure you have a “clean” and secure Facebook account, a strong Linked In Profile and search out companies you wish to work for on Twitter and engage their social media people in conversations).
All of this activity helps keep your energy engaged in work and, when someone asks what you’ve been doing since graduation, you can say with all confidence, “I’ve been working at the (pick a non-profit), attending seminars at our (chamber of commerce or industry association, where you’re likely to make some good contacts) and reading up on (whatever your industry is, pick a specific topic).”
– Student Loan Debt: It’s true that there is more student loan debt than before, most likely because more people now attend college, perhaps don’t have the resources for it, and many students’ parents had to tap into college savings to stay financially afloat during the recession. There are many strategies you may consider for higher education; here’s an article I wrote for the Financial Planning Association’s consumer website on Education Funding: Before, During, and After College.
What challenges do you see and what strategies would you suggest?
Whenever it is in any way possible, every boy and girl should choose as his life work some occupation which he should like to do anyhow, even if he did not need the money. – Irish Blessing
Photo courtesy of Positive Outlook.