One of the main drivers for millennials is the idea that they ‘want it all’. Usually, this means something along the lines of career, car, house, life partner, holidays in Vegas and when you are just starting out, all of these things seem really far away.
What Millennials aren’t told, though, is that with some careful budgeting and saving tactics, they can achieve everything they want – they just won’t do it at in the same way as their parents. They need to be a bit smarter than that.
Let’s focus on the three main goals first:
Getting your career started is about luck just as much as it is about having a perfect CV. You need to put yourself out there, work your contacts and interview again and again for every role that seems like it could be fun. Most of the time you will be rejected, but remember only one employer needs to say yes for you to land that first job.
Your parents probably got their qualifications and then settled down into a 40-year career, probably sticking to the same industry if not the same company or even the same job! You, on the other hand, are looking at a 50-year career at least, where technology is moving so fast your first job may not even exist in 10 years.
Your strategy should be to continue learning and developing your CV at every opportunity. Don’t think about which industry or aim for a particular role at a certain company. Instead, think about how you can diversify and excel at every challenge.
So now that you have a job, it’s time to fix a ride. There are a few different ways that you can save for a new car, and knowing a few tricks like when to buy and what to buy can help stretch your budget.
Plus, there are ways that you can cheat so that you appear to have a much better car than you really do. One way to achieve this is by buying an older car and then getting private plates to disguise the year it was made. You could also get your car resprayed so that the paintwork is even and any inherited scratches are hidden from view.
Over time, you will be able to save up for the car of your dreams, but for now, be patient, buy what you can afford and know that good things are coming later down the line.
This one is the biggie and to be honest, as a Millennial you will be saving for that deposit for a long time. However, even if you can’t afford somewhere on your own, it is possible that you could save up to move in with friends to get the money together sooner. You might also like to consider shared-ownership deals with your local council and look into help to buy schemes to speed the process up.
In the meantime, paying rent might feel like pouring money down the drain (especially in cities where the prices are inflated) but you are actually getting a lot for your effort. For one thing, you have managed to gain some independence without having all the responsibilities of fixing things when they get broken or setting down roots too early. Plus, renting means that you can swap and change to find a lifestyle that suits you. This means that if you have a new relationship, you can rent as a way of finding out whether you are compatible long term without the stress of dealing with the mortgage post-breakup.
In the end, the idea of having it all is a bit impatient. The moral of the story is that yes, you can have it all, but you need to be patient and go one step at a time, building things up as you go. So, if you start with a low paid job, an old banger and a house rental with 10 friends, you need to realise that you do already have it all and things can only get better from now on.
Life for millennials will be very different to our parents. We start off with more debt, work longer and don’t even know how our careers will go. We aren’t following in any footsteps, we’re making it up as we go along which means that we might have a bit more freedom, but there’s also a lot more pressure to figure it out.
What can you do other than enjoy yourself in the meantime?