From the horse’s mouth…
I agree with this article, I’m far more likely to ask family members for financial advice as opposed to banks. (I also borrow money from them when I’m in a tight spot, but more on that later.)
To answer this, you’ll need some background on Generation Y. The simplest, most relevant explanation in this case is… well, we’re sceptics.
Perhaps, because information is so easily accessible, we millennials are quick to know whenever a company is in hot water due to lies. As a result, we’re quick to see through insincere, false advertising. And when we find a company we deem guilty of false advertising, you can be sure that we’ll boycott them and that they’ll feel the wrath and scorn of all our social media followers.
Remember the 2008 recession we’re still recovering from? Well, for most millennials, this happened while we were “coming of age,” if you will. Watching ponzi pyramid schemes fall flat only strengthened our distrust of “the establishment.”
Everything is expensive
Yeah, yeah, I know… Things have always been expensive, but just bear with me.
A while back I was discussing university fees with a friend when she said: “I have R1000 spending money in my bank account every month and over R100 000 in student debt.”
This is why most of us have loans from family members. I myself have an agreement with my parents where they agreed to pay the once-off annual fee for my studies at the beginning of the year, with me paying them back in monthly instalments (their instalments work out cheaper than that of the tertiary institute I’m attending because my darling parents said they won’t increase the instalments to match inflation).
We have trust issues
Most millennials know at least one person who has been declared insolvent following the recession, so we live in constant fear of having the same thing happen to us. We’re careful with our money but desperately need financial advice. Since we are afraid of ulterior motives banks might have (a fear that’s been reinforced by the big banks scandal of 2015 you can read about here and here). With banks out of the picture, the only alternative most of us are aware of are the Generation X-ers and experienced Baby Boomers we know.
How to make millennial insecurities work for you
This one might not be so easy to overcome since you need to make a profit as well. I’m no business professional myself, so don’t ask me how the mechanics behind this would work, but perhaps there are payback solutions that would allow for a longer payback period, or multiple choices of payment depending on the client’s financial health.
I don’t mean that you need to double as a financial advisor, just small, useful tips. Things like “Don’t carry around cash, it’s easier to spend.” Another great tip I heard was to NOT open an account at every clothing retailer as soon as I start my first job, since I’d then be spending my salary on paying back for items I didn’t really need.
As I said, we crave authenticity. Whether it’s a hard truth you need to share or a simple greeting, we want to feel like a person. We are called the Me-generation after all!
I consulted some fellow Generation Y-ers, here’s what they had to say when I asked them: “Would you say you’re more likely to ask friends/family for financial advice than banks? If yes, why?”