The Millennial Perspective: The Struggle is Real

You know the feeling when you can never seem to get ahead in life? You feel like you are always a few steps behind and when you feel yourself catching up, it seems like something slowly pushes you back again? Sometimes that’s what it feels like to be a millennial in today’s economy. We are pushed to attend college to get a good job later in life, but is that the reality we find waiting for us once we’ve walked across that stage? 

The number of millennials who have graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree and continue struggle financially is larger than you may think. According to a survey conducted by the Economic Innovation Group (EIG), only 35% of millennials feel that they make just enough to cover their expenses and 63% state they would have a difficult time paying an unexpected expense of $500. While only 6% of millennials feel that they make enough money to cover their expenses and have disposable income remaining. This indicates that a good chunk of millennials aren’t saving any money because they possibly cannot afford to for a number of reasons.

This struggle to get ahead of your finances leaves some millennials feeling as though college may not be worth it. Why spend tens of thousands of dollars receiving an education, only to be left with a job that not even be related to your degree and outrageous monthly student loan payments? In the past, having a bachelor’s degree, even if you weren’t working in your preferred field, meant you would make more money. This standard has begun to shift, in many cases, and a master’s degree is the new norm. So, another 2-3 years of school preventing you from working, another tens of thousands of dollars for another degree and you still have no guarantee that you will work in the field you have studied or that you will make a decent wage. Seems pretty unmotivating, don’t you think?

So, does this mean that not going to college and immediately jumping into the workforce is better? This, of course, depends on the type of work you are pursuing. There are a number of jobs that do not require a degree that pay well and allow you to live comfortably. However, at the same time, there are plenty that do not. This means that even if you don’t go to college, you still run the risk of struggling financially even without a student loan payment depending on the types of jobs available in your area.

Of course, nothing in life is guaranteed, and we know this. Though, sometimes, it feels like the odds are never in our favor when it comes to finances and getting started in life when compared to the generations before us. I have no doubts that Generation Z, Gen Z for short, will experience similar or worse issues. All we can do is work towards changing this standard and hoping for the best for our children and so on.

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