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Lattes and Avocado Toast: Busting Millennial Money Myths


​There are countless money myths and opinions out there, especially when it comes to the financial habits of younger generations. In particular, millennials are often criticized for spending too much and saving too little.

When you're first starting out, it can be easy to buy into these beliefs and feel like you're “bad with money." Don't be discouraged — the reality is money management isn't one-size-fits-all!

Today, we're shedding some light on the facts behind some common millennial money myths: ​

  1. ​Myth: Coffee and avocado toast will keep you from your savings goals
    You've probably heard the popular personal finance myth that cutting out so-called “indulgent" expenses, such as to-go coffee and avocado toast, is the secret to financial success. The idea is eliminating extra $5-a-day expenses, and investing the money instead, can add up substantially over time. But it's not always that simple! Achieving the goal of financial flexibility and freedom is about your overall approach to money management, not one cure-all solution.
    • ​​Fact: Small spending habits add up
      Of course, it's a good idea to find a balance in your budget between essential expenses and fun spending. After all, small purchases do add up. However, this doesn't mean you can't treat yourself to things like dining out, going to the movies or even grabbing a $5 latte from time to time! The real “secret" is to be purposeful with your purchases.
      One of the best ways to spend wisely is to create a budget and stay on top of your purchases. Try to track your daily spending with a spreadsheet, notebook or digital budgeting tool like Money Management, available through Wright-Patt Credit Union's (WPCU) Mobile and Online Banking. This way, you'll always know exactly where your money is going.
  2. ​​Myth: If you're not saving for retirement, you're already behind
    Research shows that Americans in their 20s and 30s are falling short of reaching their target retirement goals, but they aren't alone. People across all generations are worried about saving enough for a comfortable retirement. The good news for millennials is it's not too late to start saving and planning for the life you want to live in the future!
    • ​​Fact: The sooner you save, the better!
      Now is the time to get a head start on your retirement, even if you start small. It's okay if you can only contribute $20 or $50 per month to your employer's 401(k) plan or IRA at first. Setting aside money early on will give your money more opportunity to grow over time through the power of compound interest.
  3. ​Myth: Renting is “throwing your money away"
    Have you ever heard that “renting an apartment or home is a waste of your hard-earned money?" This idea can be frustrating, especially if you're not in a financial or personal position to be a homeowner. While it's true buying a home offers many benefits —including the opportunity to build home equity — it doesn't mean renting is a bad thing.
    • ​​Fact: There are plenty of good reasons to rent
      Let's be clear: renting is not the same as throwing away your money. We all need a place to live, and renting can provide freedom, flexibility and convenience. That being said, there are many good reasons to buy a home, too. If you're comfortable in your financial position and ready to stay in the area for the long term, it might be time to consider buying a home. WPCU is here to help! 

Millennials: Build Your Money Confidence with WPCU!

At WPCU, we help people of all ages — including millennials — save better, borrow smarter, spend and manage their money wisely, and plan for a strong financial future. No matter where you are in your financial journey, we're here to help make life a little easier!