Peer pressure isn't just for teenagers in high school. Many young adults also feel peer pressure from a wide range of sources, whether it be at the workplace, at home with the family or out for drinks with friends.
Stephanie Halligan from EmpoweredDollar.com is trying to help millennials take better care of their money. She believes eliminating peer pressure is crucial when making any sort of purchasing decision.
"It's really challenging to exercise self-control when you feel compelled to buy," Halligan said. "Whether you're shopping with your friends at the mall and you feel obligated to buy something or you see an irresistible sale that has you grabbing for your wallet, exercising a little patience could go a long way in helping you save money. Pausing even for a few moments before you buy something can help you curb impulse purchases and save money."
Halligan recognizes it might be satisfying to spend a quick $10 bucks on a bite to eat with friends, but she said those expenses can add up quickly.
The economic resurgence hasn't helped young adults
While the U.S. economy continues to improve following the burst of the housing bubble several years ago, its uprise hasn't helped students and young adults the same way it's benefited some of the nation's older residents.
Kent Allison, a leader of employee financial education practice with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), told U.S. News & World Report that the people who have seen the biggest boom via the economic rebound are those who already have investments, savings and homes in place. Those without assets - primarily students and millennials - haven't received anywhere near the same kind of advantage.
The PwC 2014 Employee Financial Wellness Survey, which tracks more than 2,100 full-time working adults, revealed that millennial employees are more likely to struggle with cash management. The study reported 40 percent of millennial employees are struggling to pay their monthly household expenses and many continue to carry large balances on their credit cards.
"A lot of them are carrying a pretty heavy debt burden, especially out of school, and they're not saving a lot for the future between student loans, credit card debt and trying to meet everyday expenses," Allison told U.S. News.
Allison said one way for millennials to start a solid foundation for saving is to set up a direct deposit with their employer. But instead of getting all of the paycheck put into their checking account, the worker should calculate a number they can stow away and have that delivered to a savings account. This way, the employee can still pay off all of their expenses while building a nest egg for the future.
Millennials are striving for financial security
Millennials, also known as Generation Y, have taken flak for being lazy and unmotivated in the workplace. While this is up for debate, one thing is for certain: Millennials aren't lazy when it comes to improving their financial smarts.
According to The Principal Financial Group, a financial services company, millennials place a priority on financial literacy and are driven to make savvy financial decisions. The Principal's survey of 591 employees between ages 18 and 34 reported that 84 percent of millennials said they are "passionate about creating financial security for themselves." Four of five respondents added that they expect to be "better off financially" than their parents when they reach their parents' age.
"Gen Y individuals are pretty passionate and optimistic about the future," said Greg Burrows, senior vice president of retirement and investor services at The Principal Financial Group. "They realize they need to be more self-reliant and recognize the need to take responsibility for their own future."
The survey from Principal also discovered that 80 percent of respondents had a monthly budget in place. Roughly 66 percent have already started saving for retirement by age 25 and have an emergency fund.
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