Save Up, Millennials!

First things first, who or what on earth are the “millennials”?

According to Urban Dictionary, a millennial is anyone who is born from year 1982 to 1994. They are approximately the 21-33 yrs old of today’s generation. They are, basically, the new graduates and hopefully the employed individuals who are now starting their careers from scratch.

Now, this article is not to teach them how to save up. This is more of a wake-up call for millennials like me that there are certain expenses that we think is normal and okay for today, but when thought of carefully is not actually okay in the future.

So, why do I specifically call out the attention of these so-called millennials (which I’m actually part of)? So, here it goes…

Think of a specific millennial, who are closely related to your life, may it be you, a friend, a son, a niece, or really anyone for as long as he/she is born within the timeline I specifically mentioned. Ok good, keep him or her in mind and let’s study his/her way of living. I’ll mention some examples below and if you or friend falls within my description, and so I’ll just say “bato-bato sa langit ang tamaan wag magagalit” :)

For the sake of this article, let’s call him/her Jess (a unisex name). Let’s say, Jess is working for a BPO company (a very common job in the Philippines for millennials alike). His earnings (minus income tax) amount to let’s say P25,000. From that P25,000, what amount do you think can he save from it? P10,000? P5,000? P3,000? Well, we can never know for sure, but we can study his/her expenses.

Jess Version 1 (The Girl): Based on her FB posts, does Jess go out with friends every Friday night? Or, does Jess frequently posts out of town trips in her social media accounts? If yes, and you think she shouldered those expenses herself, then do you know that out of the country trips usually amount to approx. P20,000. Assuming our dear Jess can save P10,000 per month, that’s P120,000 worth of saving a year. In Jess’ POV, she’ll convince herself by saying “Hmm, 20K out of 120K is only a little money. I think I’ll go ahead and treat myself for some out of town trip with my friends.” And, to be honest there’s nothing wrong with it. Jess deserves some time-off with friends, so she can enjoy life. Why else would she work hard if she can’t spend it. Yet, this is where it will start to go wrong. If our dear Jess started thinking like this, “Hmm, so I can save up to 120K per year huh? How about I allot half of it to my TRAVEL FUND. That’s 2-4 trips a year! Hooray! I can travel the world! I mean 60K worth of savings is more than enough for a year. Right? Right.”… And, that’s when it’ll start to become alarming. You see, a lost of P40K saving per year will total to P400K in 10 years! An amount which you could have spend for your first child’s education.

Jess Version 2 (The Guy): This time, Jess is not more of a traveler, but definitely likes that new iPhone every freaking year. Imagine, that’s an expense of P40 – P50K a year. If not that new iPhone, he figured that he can already own a car for only P8K – P10k a month payable in 5 years. He says “Ok, having my own car is so cool! Besides I got promoted, I can afford this.” Let’s stick with the assumption that Jess V2 can really afford the car because of his promotion. I think there’s nothing wrong with it, only if this is not Jess’ first so-called “investment”. Because if it is his first, then can he really be serious that he invested his money on a thing that depreciates over time. Imagine after 5 years, that car that he bought for P500K is probably just P250K by then. Tsk. Tsk. That lost P250K could have been his initial investment for a business opportunity he thought of after 5 years.

So there you ago, I’m sure there are other ways how millennials spend their money, but those two examples above are what I think the most common of them all. I’m not saying we shouldn’t spend. It’s just that it’ll probably best to ask this question first to ourselves: whatever I want to spend today, will it profit me in the future?