It’s no secret that there’s a lot of really bad “advice” on the internet. If you dive into the deepest corners of the web, you can find some truly deplorable stuff. But I think I just found something that takes the cake.
Single worst money advice 20yr olds will ever receive
“Your 20s are not the time to save; they’re the time to gamble. $200 a month isn’t going to make the dent that a $60,000 pay raise will after spending all those nights out networking.”
It only gets worse from there. While the author (who has not yet responded to a request to comment for this story) is presumably trying to get twenty-somethings to relax about their financial states and just enjoy life, the end result is something akin to financial malpractice.
“People who are saving in their 20s are people who don’t set their sights high. They’ve already dropped out of the game and settled for the minor leagues,” she writes.
Other quips include: “Don’t waste your youth worrying about expenses when you should be worrying about experiences” and “when you care about your 401k, your life is just ‘k.’”
There’s a lot to address here, but let’s start at the top. If you have savings in your twenties — any savings at all — you are not doing something wrong. In fact, you are doing something very, very right.
If you’re saving anything at all, you’re ahead of a large portion of your generation. A recent Consumer Federation of America survey found that just 56% of adults ages 18 to 34 are saving at least 5% of their income; other surveys have shown that as little as 17% of Millennials feel they’re on track to save what they’ll need in retirement. And heck, forget retirement (for now): if you have even the tiniest bit of savings, you’re doing better than nearly a third of the country — this study found that 29% of Americans have no emergency savings at all.
But if you are a part of that 29%, don’t beat yourself up. Between rent, utilities, debt payments and general cost-of-living expenses, it can be hard to find extra money to save at the end of each month. (A new study from the Investor Protection Institute found that 34% of Millennials have seen their savings ability impacted by their student loans.) The key is to cut yourself a break and start small.
“For most people, if they haven’t been able to save anything, a dollar is better than zero, ” says Chantel Bonneau, a certified financial planner at Northwestern Mutual (and, as it happens, a Millennial herself, so she understands the demands on our wallets). Those dollars eventually add up, and watching savings grow can be motivation to save even more.
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