Gen Ys are lazy, narcissistic and can’t commit to anything. Or at least that is a common controversial cliché expressed by baby boomers. Let’s face it, the economic environment that Australians are currently immersed in is not practical nor sustainable. Although the world out there is a little tough right now, it’s time to put down the avocado toast and have a read about the things YOU can do to lessen the burden of financial stress.
According to an interview conducted by The New Daily with the co-chair of the G20 Youth Summit, ‘Generation Y could be the first generation in modern history to experience a lower standard of living than their parents’ This is due to the increasing burden of debt, costs of living and education, as well as the issue of unemployment and the unpredictable nature of job security in Australia.
Furthermore, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2015 data on Household Income and Wealth, Gen Y have a relatively high substantial annual gross household income of $113,152.00 per annum. However, they also have low wage growth of just 5% over a two-year period. To put it simply, things are getting more expensive, but incomes aren’t getting any higher, making the Australian Dream of owning your own home a little more out of reach.
It’s okay, I’ll give you a minute to have a quick cry.
So, now that little sobbing session is over, it’s time to have a think about how you can try and master the mysterious and complicated process of ‘trying to adult’ (one that I am still yet to conquer myself). Over the years I have learnt a few things, some the easy way and some the hard way.
Firstly, BUDGET! BUDGET! BUDGET!
Take the time to sit down and follow these three very simple steps:
- Step 1: Calculate your total income per fortnight using bank statements, pay slips, Centrelink payments etc.
- Step 2: Calculate your expenses. List all essential expenses (rent, food, bills, petrol, loan repayments and so on). Remember to include the less frequent expenses such as car registration or insurance payments. Ensure your expenses are less than your total income per fortnight.
- Step 3: STICK TO THE NUMBER YOU HAVE ASSIGNED TO EACH OF THESE EXPENSES. It’s as simple as that. If your income changes or your ongoing expenses change, remember to review and update your budget.
Secondly, make smart money choices!
Some smart money moves may include (but are not limited to):
- Eat in, not out. Cook meals in advance and freeze them. This will help to avoid the temptation of getting take away just because you can’t be bothered cooking (we’ve all been there).
- Have shorter showers. It’s good for both the environment and your wallet.
- Wait to get a pet. Save getting a pet until you are totally comfortable with your income. Trust me, the pet can wait.
- Don’t get into debt. That’s right, you heard me, that means no AfterPay.
- Avoid getting a gym membership. Instead try and create a safe and easy routine that can be completed at home with minimal equipment.
Thirdly, don’t be afraid to do a little research, find out what works best for you!
- Check out the “How to Budget” webpage at https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/subjects/how-budget to gain an understanding of how to create and maintain a budget effectively.
- Download a budgeting app such as Wally available on both Apple and Android devices. This app allows you to log all your expenses and alerts you when you have hit your saving goals.
- Meal Prep:
- For simple and affordable meal prep check out http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/12/05/12-easy-healthy-meal-prep-ideas-that-will-save-time-and-money_a_21620338/
- Lose the gym membership:
- Stay fit, healthy and have a few extra dollars in your pocket with Alexa Tuckers at home workouts – https://www.self.com/gallery/25-ways-to-get-fit-if-you-dont-have-a-gym-membership
- Familiarise yourself with information about the current Australian economy
- https://www.focus-economics.com/countries/australia provides recent data about our current economy.
With that said, being Gen Y doesn’t have to be all doom, gloom and compromise. In the workplace, Gen Y are often viewed as both enthusiastic and optimistic in comparison to their Gen X and baby boomer co-workers. Also, they are known to be one of the more accepting by being more open to different opinions, sexualities, cultures, religions and ethnicities than previous generations.
So I guess that’s something uplifting… RIGHT?
Words by Maegan Hadden.