Millennials and Money: On Savings
Millennials are starting to figure out how to juggle Recession-era student loan payments and still afford rent or a mortgage payment, but the conversation about managing money—and saving money—is still really challenging.
Saving money is harder than it used to be. It’s true—here are a few quick facts to get this conversation started:
· Two-thirds of Americans would have a difficult time coming up with $1,000 for an emergency. (The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research)
· Millennial earnings are low compared to median wages—lower than Gen-Xers or Baby Boomers when they were early in their careers, which means we’re required to make more short-term financial decisions.
· 56% of Millennials don’t have any money saved for retirement. (PurePoint Financial)
· Millennials tend to be overconfident and underprepared when it comes to managing their money: 69% believe they are financially savvy, but only 24% show basic financial literacy. (National Endowment for Financial Education)
Despite the daunting statistics, Millennials are aging into a world where we feel ready to make larger purchases and investments, like buying a house or putting more money away for retirement.
So how do we get better, and more thoughtful, about how we save money?
Breaking Bad Financial Habits from a Generational Perspective
Learning how to save money should start at a young age (around 7 or 8 Is the recommended age). But it’s not a conversation that typically sparks excitement at the dinner table, and every family dynamic is different when it comes to their first-hand financial experiences.
For example: A parent can’t talk about the importance of saving money if they’ve never had the opportunity to learn about different saving options.
According to the results of a Parents, Kids & Money Survey, conducted by T. Rowe Price, “Kids who have the freedom to manage their own money seem to have better money behaviors and are more truthful with their parents about how their money was spent.”
This study also revealed that troubling financial habits among kids were seen more frequently when their parents had a troubled history with money.
History repeats itself if we don’t make an active effort to approach money differently.
So How Do We Get to Even Better Savings Habits?
The heart of saving money is knowing your own savings habits or patterns. Are you someone who can automate savings every week without being tempted to move it around? Or are you learning how to be a little more disciplined with sticking to your savings plan?
One of the ways to be better at saving money is to have a specific goal or reason for saving. There are two common types of saving goals: short-term and long-term.
So, think about that savings goal (such as buying a house, paying off student loans, or going on a dream trip) to help you identify how much you’ll need to save and for how long.
Once you’ve decided what your first savings goal will be, then you can choose the best type of savings account for this goal.
There are many types of savings account, but perhaps one of the most overlooked products for Millennials are Certificates of Deposit (CDs).
What is a Certificate of Deposit (CD)?
A certificate of deposit (CD) is a safe, virtually no-risk savings tool that can boost the amount of interest you earn over a specific amount of time (called the “term”). You choose the term based on what your financial institution offers. The amount of interest (or “return”) is a guaranteed percentage that you earn after the CD reaches the end of the term (“matures”).
In the early days of banking, you would actually get a paper certificate when you opened a CD, which you could cash in when it was time to take out your savings. These days it’s all electronic, but the name stuck.
A few quick notes on CDs:
· CDs earn more interest than a regular savings account, without the risk of investing in less predictable options, such as stocks.
· Term lengths can be as short as a few months or as long as a decade.
· CDs can be used for either shorter-term or medium-term goals that have a clear timeline (i.e. saving for a wedding next year versus saving for a large down payment on a home in three years). They are not ideal for very short-term or unpredictable savings needs, like an emergency fund, or for very long-term goals like building up retirement savings that may benefit from exploring higher-risk/higher-return options.
· If your goal is to save money for the sake of saving more money, CD laddering is a term you may want to talk to your personal service counselor about.
Can I Make an Early Withdrawal on a CD?
If you need to take out your savings before the maturity date of the CD, you may have to pay a penalty. The amount varies based on the term of your CD, but is usually equal to a certain amount of the interest.
Your life has a unique timeline—and the credit union gets that.
Everyone has different savings goals, so your secure savings account should have term options. The credit union offers terms from 6 months to 5 years and right now, you can get the best rate we have with any term offered.
You can earn 2.85% APY* on your own terms.
*Just have a minimum of 12 months.
We have a current “Your Life, On Your Terms” promotion. With a minimum of $1,000 at 12 months, you can earn 2.85% APY*