There’s been a lot of online chatter recently about an Elite Daily article that argues against the idea that millennials should be saving their money. This article from Jillian Berman of MarketWatch provides a counterpoint to that Elite Daily article, highlighting how saving money now is the right thing to do for millennials. Listed among some of the more “selfish” reasons to save money for your future self: the ability to buy a new home of your own.
Financially responsible 20-somethings everywhere were feeling indignant earlier this week after millennial news site Elite Daily published an article arguing that young people who save money are essentially boring.
After all, they’re forgoing frequent taxi rides, high-priced cocktails with colleagues and delicious food at trendy restaurants all in the name of retirement – something they won’t be able to enjoy at least until they are so old they’re officially boring.
But for many young people the decision isn’t between living their 20s to the fullest and socking money away. With wages for young college-educated workers lower than they were 15 years ago and millions of young people saddled by student debt, millennials’ financial priorities often come down to a choice between shacking up with several roommates or shirking their student loan responsibilities.
“My life changed when I became frugal by choice instead of frugal by necessity,” said Stefanie O’Connell, the author of the “The Broke and Beautiful Life,” a personal finance book. O’Connell initially started budgeting aggressively when she wasn’t getting regular paychecks as an actress. Now, thanks to a budding writing and blogging career, she’s able to save 20% of her income and – gasp – still enjoy her life.
In fact, O’Connell views saving as a selfish act, because it’s literally setting aside money for her future self.
By socking some of her paycheck away for five years, Ashley Rey, a financial adviser at Wells Fargo in Short Hills, NJ, was able to own her own home by 27. Yes, 27! She was able to do this while partaking in horseback riding, an expensive hobby. She did have to cut back a bit on socializing, going out only one night every weekend instead of two.
“I can say that I’m a proud recent home buyer, but I did not eat beans and rice every night to get there,” Rey said.
Imagine a universe where instead of sending an ungodly portion of your income every month to a landlord, you could be using that to pay down a mortgage on something that is yours and will (hopefully) increase your wealth one day. Also you can paint the walls whatever color you want and never have to switch them back.