This post is sponsored by Lexington Law
Happy birthday millennials! Pew researched announced last month that the official birth years have been decided for this demographic: 1981-1996. Over the last five years I’ve been writing on this group, and studying them for longer than that, so it’s an adjustment to picture millennials as post-college, and nearly midlife adults.
Baby Boomers should no longer accuse the local barista as being an entitled, lazy, special snowflake. He’s probably at least the manager by now. With a house! Maybe a preschooler? And probably still had student debt. Millennials are all grown up, and mindsets are changing as new realities start to kick in.
Or for people like myself, a 33-year-old mother of three, are in full force. So what are some issues that are on my radar? My concerns are usually wrapped up in attention-grabbing headlines.
1) Are my kids safe? From active shooter drills starting in Kindergarten, to pressures about nutritional perfection for our kids, modern parenting is a bit of a complicated beast. Parenting brings about endless new worries, but now it’s paired with endless articles to scroll through on your smartphone. Normal concerns like sleep training babies, healthy foods for kids, or discipline are easy to research online. But headlines constantly remind parents my age of greater concerns like rising mental health issues among teens, and school safety.
Like other stages we’ve face in the past, it’s pressured by information overload, and decision fatigue. Many of my parental concerns go straight to my smartphone. Like, “does my kid have a rare skeletal abnormality?” (like I thought a couple years ago— he doesn’t). Or “how to not be so paranoid as a parent,” which is apparently really bad. So are my kids safe? At the moment, yes, but I don’t imagine my internet search days are over.
2) Is My Money OK? Did you see the headline about a huge data breach at Equifax? Then how there was insider trading by the former executive? And then Americans spent $1.4 billion on credit fee freezes?
Financial instability, and unethical dealings by the rich and powerful are unfortunately nothing new to millennials. Headlines like Equifax getting hacked feel all too familiar. Lex On Track is a tool offered by Lexington Law which offers everything you need for peace of mind when it comes to finances. For a monthly fee, Lex On Track offers credit repair, personal finance tools, monthly FICO scores, and monitors identity theft. I would have loved this tool 8 years ago when a trip to Cabo San Lucas popped up in my bank account. Also, millennials tend to be notoriously financially illiterate, so check out their blog too. Here’s a great one called How Different Generations Use Credit, and it’s worth a read, if you’re into that generational stuff.
On top of concerns about financial insecurity, many headlines show that this age group continues to fall behind financially compared to Baby Boomers at the same age. I was very proud to pay off one student loan back in 2014, but my husband and I are patiently chipping away at the rest. We continue to make decisions that remind us that we haven’t escaped financial pressure. So is my money OK? It’s better… and I’m better at managing it.
3) Do I need social media? Speaking of security breaches, Mark Zuckerberg apologized in a full-page ad in several newspapers recently, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal which leaked the data of millions. Facebook has the option to download the data they have stored for your login, and many have been shocked by how extensive, and personal the data is. From private Messenger conversations from years before, to phone call histories, the breach of trust is making many people pull the plug for good.
I recently deleted my Facebook completely, which I’ve had for 12 years, and it felt weird at first, I’ll admit. Zuckerberg is my age (literally 2 weeks older than me as I found in research for one post) so we were both Seniors in college back then. I’ve had it for so long that it feels like part of my identity.. But it’s not. And I think it’s important to remember that.
Recently Bri Emery, designer and mind behind Design Love Fest, shared a long post on Instagram about her anxiety that has stemmed from the amount of likes (or lack thereof) on her posts. She shared that her rise to success in the early days was fueled by these amazing tools, but admits that it’s led to huge struggles with self-esteem. Emery is not the first influencer to come out about the “truth” of social media stress. Up to one third of millennials are leaving social media all together. In recent years, studies have proved a correlation between social media use and mental health issues, anxiety, and even addiction. So do I need social media? I don’t think I’m the only one who has lost trust concerning privacy issues, and seriously doubts the mental benefits of SM, so– NO I don’t need it. You can find me on twitter though.
4) Will I Buy a House? Millennials, if you’re younger than me, you have NO IDEA how much the trend forecasters projected that we were not going to get married, buy a house, or have kids… OR even buy cars. It’s true, that we’ve been slow in the game, but the logic never added up to me. Sure, I had my own struggles with The American Dream. Is it for me? Is it not? But now I’m like someone please just give me a house, probably because of my 3 kids. So, the housing market is actually a bit of a brighter subject as trends are looking up. Millennials make up 36% of homeownership, and are projected to be the main purchasing force over the next few decades.
My husband and I were actually homeowners who bought back in 2007– luck us, our house lost 60% of it’s value in a year! (They told us this wasn’t normal?) The past six years we’ve been renting, but Zillow is a regular app on my phone, and I scope out possibilities. Most of my friends are renting, but recently some have had the opportunity to buy. Suburbs win, as far as where the majority of millennials are buying up houses. The number one suburb according to Time Magazine is Riverside, California, which is actually my city! Er, Suburb? So, will we buy again? I hope so, and if we do we’ll be in good company.
Are any of these things on your mind? What are your #millennialgrownupproblems. Is it hashtags that are too long? Is it just hashtags? Let me know.