Did your grandparents save everything? Did your aunt give you a savings bond each year for your birthday? Do you have a cousin who uses an app to transfer money when it’s time to pay rent?
Every generation has unique money management habits, and there’s valuable advice you can learn from each one’s saving and spending habits.
The Greatest Generation: Thrift
Perhaps you have parents or grandparents who were born between 1901 and 1924 (commonly dubbed the Greatest Generation). If so, you may have guessed that the most common money habit associated with this generation is thrift. Many lived through times of hardship and deprivation, leaving many cautious with their spending habits, often balancing their checkbooks daily and never buying a new appliance or car if the old one could be fixed.
Most of us could learn from this frugality. There are almost always ways to cut back on personal spending habits — from eliminating your daily $5 latte to carpooling to save on gas. Take that extra cash and store it away. It’ll give you peace of mind knowing you have emergency savings.
Baby Boomers: Plan for Retirement
Granted, Baby Boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964) are probably thinking harder about retirement right now than younger generations, but they’ve planned ahead. Eighty percent of eligible boomers contribute to their workplace retirement plans, like 401(k)s.
The money habit takeaway? Keep saving for retirement! The younger you are, the more time you have for your contributions to accrue, which means more money for when you retire.
Generation X: Do Your Research
Generation X (people born between 1961 and 1981) gets a lot of credit for keeping themselves informed on their financial services options. They’re more likely to do their own research and gain control over their financial decisions.
What money habits can you learn from Gen X? Do your homework. Research different financial services options. Make sure you understand everything you can about fees and your financial goals. By keeping yourself informed, you’ll be able to take charge of your financial future.
Millennials: Choose Debit Over Credit
Say what you will about millennials (people born between 1980 and 2000), but they tend to be much more suspicious of credit card debt than previous generations. Millennials can even set an example for baby boomers when it comes to managing money. A recent study shows that just one in three millennials owns a credit card.
The takeaway? Be wary of debt. Even though using a credit card is an important way to build credit, it’s essential to be aware of your spending habits and the hidden fees some cards can bring. Paying your balance monthly is great step toward building your credit score without getting into financial trouble.
Reach Your Money Management Goals No Matter Your Generation
Need extra guidance to reach your financial goals? Whatever generation you belong to, Farm Bureau can help. Talk to your local Farm Bureau agent today.