When I was young and my dad was upset with one of us, he would sometimes voice his frustration by beginning his sentences with, ‘Kids nowadays…’ Whenever that happened, more times than not, I would roll my eyes and tune-out whatever he had to say. It was kind of reminiscent of a Charlie Brown cartoon—the ones that have an adult standing next to Charlie and the only thing he and his friends hear coming out of the parent’s mouth is, “Wah wah wah.”
The reason I turned a deaf ear to what he had to say was because he had bunched us all together with his ‘kids nowadays’ statements. Of course he could never just leave it there. He would add something like, ‘When I was a kid, we never would have….’ or ‘We always would have…’ There it was, that dreaded comparison, and we, the Baby Boomer generation, always fell short.
To use my dad’s vernacular, nowadays I hear a lot about Millennials. Sometimes on Facebook I’ll see an old childhood friend write something about this younger generation and how they are falling short. Oftentimes I think back to what this person was like when they were that age and I’m surprised by what they’ve written.. I can’t help but wonder what the twenty-something version of them would think about what the fifty-something version has to say now.
Remembering how I felt about my dad’s oftentimes unflattering comments regarding my generation, I’m trying not to jump on board when I hear others heap criticism on this generation. With that in mind, I’m going to talk about what this young generation is doing right instead of what they are doing wrong.
Do you know what Millennials are doing better than any other generation? According to Bankrate, they are the best at saving money.
Surprised? Well, it’s true. Bankrate’s Financial Security Index for March found that 33 percent of Millennials are saving 6-10 percent of their annual income—the most of any age group!
“Millennials have a greater inclination toward saving, for both emergencies and retirement, than we’ve seen from previous generations,” says Bankrate’s Chief Financial Analyst, Greg McBride. “Much of this is attributable to the financial crisis and Great Recession coming during the financially formative years for many Millennials.”
Not only are they the best at saving, 30 percent of them said they are more comfortable with their savings today than they were a year ago. This noteworthy percentage puts them in first place in this category as well. Kudos to them!
The thing is, I have to admit that when I hear some of the negative traits exhibited by Millennials I can’t help but see my own adult children reflected in those traits. But do you know what the saddest part is? Those ugly traits of being self-centered, self-absorbed, and self-serving are the exact eye-rolling characteristics my dad accused my generation of exhibiting.
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