I am tired of reading articles like this: American millennials have an average net worth of $8,000 — and it’s part of a bigger financial problem the generation is facing.
The results of all of these studies are all about decisions that were choices someone made – not an emergency health crisis, or a loss of a job, but concrete choices to spend that money in that way. Many of the choices that are keeping millennials from saving for retirement are flexible expense choices. That means, if you are a millennial, you are in control of that money choice.
Sunday’s WSJ article ‘Playing Catch-Up in the Game of Life.’ Millennials Approach Middle Age in Crisis makes the case – once again – for EARLY financial education. It highlights how essential this education is to laying a foundation for later-in-life financial decisions:
“If I can’t afford a home, I definitely can’t afford kids,” said Joy Brown, 32 years old. She is a renter who is single and earns $75,000 a year. She also owes $102,000 in student loans and $10,000 in credit card debt. “Myself and a lot of my peers still feel like we’re playing catch-up in the game of life,” said Ms. Brown, a compliance officer for the city of Chicago.
$179.17 a month. That is the exact amount of my monthly payment to pay off my student loan for law school. My husband took the payment in stride. I remember one small (slightly uncomfortable) discussion about how he did not have student loan debt. His loans had been from his parents, and they forgave them. Mine had been from the government. They were not that fond of me. So we paid it all off – $179.17 a month – until it was done.
My student loan became just another one of the bills we paid after we got married. We took the “what’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine” approach to money. In other words, we combined our accounts and went from there.
Today, there are financial planning considerations as you approach paying off student loans. Combined incomes may raise the amount you need to pay. But, filing as a married couple allows you to deduct the interest on the loan.