Despite a handful of naysayers, most people would agree that us Gen Y’s share some pretty great characteristics. We’re entrepreneurial, tech-savvy, confident and assertive. We work smarter not harder, achieve higher and are redefining what it means to have a work life balance. We use “it can’t be done” as fuel to prove that it can, we strive to live a life of purpose and meaning and we have a strong desire to change the world.
So why then, with all these awesome qualities, are most of us still putting off building wealth? Did I mention we are also the most educated generation? We have all the tools we need at our disposal and yet when it comes to our finances, most of us are still just burying our heads in the sand?
Now is the time to turn this around and start building positive financial habits. We need to add ‘financially savvy’ to our list and be known as the generation that swaps excuses for commitments. Getting the most out of our lives means taking control of our financial future and setting ourselves up right. And with the new year less than 2 weeks away it’s time to get real. So here’s a list of no-bullshit reasons you need to start building wealth now:
You’re still using credit cards
According to research conducted right here at WE, nearly 75% of Gen Y’s are still using credit cards regularly. This means you are (most likely) not sticking to a budget or worse, you don’t have one at all. And unless you’re paying off the balance in full, which most of you aren’t, the crazy high-interest rates you’re being charged are pushing you further away from the life you really want…and deserve.
And for those super disciplined few who manage to pay off your balance in full, don’t pat yourselves on the back just yet. Our research also shows you’re likely to still spend up to 30% more than those who don’t use credit cards at all. So either way, if you are really serious about creating wealth, those cards need to go. Period!
You only have a vague idea where your money goes
If you’ve read any WE case studies, you’ll notice that apart from being awesome, our members have something else in common; during their goals and values sessions, they realise their version of how they spend their money vs the reality of where their money actually goes and how much is vastly different. Awareness is key and just like you can’t out train a poor diet, unless you do a thorough financial analysis and put plans in place to redirect your spending you can kiss goodbye any hopes of achieving real sustainable wealth.
You think you need to earn more first
This is one of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to building wealth. And holds as much logic as saying “I need to get fitter before I join a gym”. Wealth creation is about keeping expenses down and paying off bad debt quickly as much as it is about investing. You have to start somewhere and the longer you put it off the harder it will be to reverse bad spending habits and use the power of time (and compound interest) in your favour.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years you’ll know that the key is to start now, start small and with what you have. You’ll be surprised at how much you can achieve without having to increase your current income.
You’re not sure where to start
You’re in great company. Most people will spend a great deal of time stuck in indecision mode. In the meantime, those with the same fears and doubts take the first steps and start moving forward. But let me make it even easier for you. What if I told you there’s a group of young, talented and dedicated individuals that not only guide and support you through the process of building a strong financial baseline for yourself, but their advice comes from a team that not only follow it themselves but have recommended it to others?
Based on your unique set of goals and values, they’ll work with you and encourage you through the various stages of building wealth and best of all, they genuinely want to see you succeed. Still not sure where to start?
You’re not utilising
Whether you’re a classic case of living pay cheque to pay cheque or feel you are more restrained with your spending but still have little to show for it, the best way to maximise every dollar you earn is to outsource to the experts.
As the key takeaway from the best-selling book by Michael Gerber over 25 years ago, The E-Myth still rings true today. Outsourcing your weaknesses and focusing on your strengths is the smartest way to succeed, in business and in life. Us Gen Y’s are known for finding more efficient ways of doing things so why should one of the most important aspects of your life be any different? Seriously, get on board!
You don’t have a financial plan
Without a plan, you’re going nowhere, even with a decent income stream. And it’s not just about hitting wealth creation goals it’s also about protection. Without the proper financial structures in place, you’re leaving yourself (and your loved ones) vulnerable to sudden changes in your income producing ability and therefore the lifestyle you and they enjoy so much.
Wishing for a ‘comfortable retirement’ is hard to quantify and won’t get you far. According to Laura Shin, co-author of Money Hacks: Forbes Stories of Superstar Savers, a financial plan will help you define your financial goals, determine whether they are realistic, clarify where and how you need to make changes in your spending and help you measure your progress. Still need convincing?
You’re not taking full responsibility
It’s time to stop playing the blame game. So most of us feel we weren’t adequately prepared to manage our money after leaving high school or we’re certain we’ve inherited a number of bad spending habits or attitudes about money from our parents blah blah blah.
This is a fact; everyone has a story and is trying to overcome something negative from their past. The difference between those who succeed and those who don’t is how much they let the past dictate their future. It’s time to take full responsibility of your financial position and admit that it’s a result of your daily actions and decisions. You are the author of your own life and you decide how the narrative is written. Take control of your future and start a new chapter, one worth reading about!
If we’re a generation that doesn’t shy away from pushing the status quo, we need to stop settling for credit card debt, reckless spending and a financial plan that keeps getting pushed down our to- do list. The time to act was yesterday!
So in the words of another great thinker, “Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have, and better tools will be found as you go along” – Napoleon Hill
Article by Evie Tramer
Disclaimer: all information contained within this article is of a general nature and should not be relied upon when making financial decisions. Please consult a professional financial advisor or planner (like us!) before acting.