4 Ways Generation Y Can Overcome the Recession

Photo (cc) by Sara. Nel

The financial future looks bleak from my generation’s point of view, at least according to new research from PNC.

Those aged 20 to 29, many of whom were welcomed into adulthood by the “Great Recession” of 2008, are (not surprisingly) very worried about money. PNC says only 18 percent expect to have enough saved to live comfortably in retirement.

Here are some of their other findings:

  • Only a third (34 percent) of 28- and 29-year-olds feel they have complete financial independence
  • Only a quarter of Gen Y (25 percent) feel ahead of expectations, while almost half (46 percent) feel behind
  • 85 percent of Gen Y is employed (57 percent claim part-time, 28 percent claim full-time)
  • 60 percent of Gen Y are determined to be independent soon
  • Parents (34 percent) and online research (28 percent) are their primary sources of financial info

The typical survey respondent was a white (73 percent) and unmarried (63 percent) college grad (64 percent). Along with this research, PNC offered some “money tips for millenials,” which I’ll expand on…

  1. Don’t panic. Everybody’s struggling right now. Half of the Baby Boomer generation may not have enough for retirement. But as PNC says, “Time is on your side.” You’ve got years to build your career, dig out of debt, and start saving or investing. The key is to not wait: Learn and commit to financial goals now. Plus, being young means you get to learn from your elders’ mistakes – take a look at Money Talks News founder and baby boomer Stacy Johnson’s 10 Dumbest Money Moves and avoid them.
  2. Avoid debt traps. Credit cards are not bad, and neither are student loans if they get you ahead in the long run. But paying them off slowly, particularly with high interest rates, certainly is. Aim for a low-interest card and use it regularly – but don’t spend what you don’t have, and pay off the balance in full every month. And don’t take out loans you don’t need. Learn more in 5 Top Credit Tips for College Students.
  3. Pay yourself first. This doesn’t mean treat yourself to nice things, which is OK in moderation. It means to pretend Future You is sending Present You a monthly bill just like your phone company. Saving whatever’s left at the end of the month only sounds smart until you realize there is never anything left at the end of the month. If your employer offers a 401k program, get in on it. If you want to invest yourself, learn what you need to know about stocks. If that’s too scary, find a way to get high-interest savings, like a CD. Although the returns are much lower, there’s no reason for anything you’re saving not to be earning at least a little interest.
  4. Budget and track spending. This is how to find out where you can save, and the best way to prevent overspending. Learn how to build a budget that works for you, and be meticulous about maintaining it. If you’re disorganized like me, your credit card and bank statements will come in handy, as will free finance tracking tools like Mint.com (which has a great app too).

The economy does look terrible right now, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But the people who should be most worried are the ones who didn’t plan ahead and are staring retirement in the face – the rest of us can learn from their mistakes, work hard, and save smart.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
26 Things Everyone Should Keep in Their Car
26 Things Everyone Should Keep in Their Car

These tools and conveniences help protect drivers from hassles and calamities on the road.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing emergency food supply. Is your pantry well-prepared for emergencies? Knowing what to stock up on for emergencies can be a difficult task and we’re here to help.

3 Reasons You Can’t Rely on Medicare Alone
3 Reasons You Can’t Rely on Medicare Alone

Counting on Medicare to cover health care costs can jeopardize your retirement plans.

10 Food Staples That Are Easy and Cheap to Make Yourself
10 Food Staples That Are Easy and Cheap to Make Yourself

Making any of these key foods yourself will improve meals — and your budget.

12 Products to Keep Your Car Clean and Organized
12 Products to Keep Your Car Clean and Organized

These items will help put your vehicular mess to rest — and each is available for less than $20 on Amazon.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have all of these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco
11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco

Not all generics are worthwhile, but these are among the best from Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand.

These Major Appliances Got the Worst Reviews in 2020
These Major Appliances Got the Worst Reviews in 2020

Consumer Reports says these home products got the worst ratings from experts.

Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?
Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?

Researchers say too many doctors are overlooking this potential source of hypertension.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone
8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone

It’s never too early to start learning how to live well while living on less.

3 Cable TV Companies Hiking Prices for 2021
3 Cable TV Companies Hiking Prices for 2021

Still married to your cable company? Hold on to your wallet!

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.