While South Africa’s socio-economic situation has not been kind to millennials who joined the workforce following the global recession of the late 2000s, there are some important money lessons to be learnt from this generation.
Jikku Joseph, managing director of money management app 22seven by Old Mutual, said this group of millennials had had to navigate a tougher global economic environment than previous generations – one of high inflation, unemployment, social and political unrest and low economic growth.
Yet despite this, they still manage their money well, with 69% with a savings account, according to Old Mutual's research.
Joseph highlighted some money lessons to be learnt from this generation, which are:
- The ability to cut extra expenses to take care of important costs of living;
- Getting the most out of job opportunities;
- Finding side-hustles in addition to day jobs to generate wealth;
- Keeping a firm eye on one's money;
- Addressing debt sooner rather than later;
- Consistently saving for goals.
“Millennials understand the importance of cutting down in order to save for what they want.
“They understand that a ‘good life’ does not have to mean lavish spending.
“Being able to take care of immediate financial demands is more important.
“Unlike the linear notion of formal employment held by previous generations, millennials operate in a world that is more flexible in terms of income opportunities.
“Many sell services and products in addition to their ‘day jobs’, a phenomenon that earned them the term ‘slashers’ in a previous Old Mutual Investment and Savings Monitor.
“The ‘slash’ refers to the forward slashes used between job descriptors, for example, programmer/yoga teacher.
“From Instagram modelling to Youtube vlogging, teaching language online or completing brand surveys for quick cash injections, millennials are creating wealth outside the formal job market,” he said.
According to Joseph, the 2018 Better Money Habits Millennial Report showed that 57% of the 63% of millennials who were saving had a specific financial goal in mind.
“Through saving, they are travelling the world, seeing favourite pop stars in concerts abroad and starting passion-based initiatives.”