I have two motivations for this post, and I’ll be fully upfront about them both:
1. I want Millennials to understand their footprint when it comes to money.
2. I want you to learn about EDGE.
Sometimes we Millennials forget our influence—to vote, to work, to serve, and to give. Money and Millennials. Believe it or not, those two carry quite influence.
By 2018, Millennials will have more spending power than any generation—surpassing the Baby Boomer generation.
In 2015, the expected spend of Millennials was $2.5 trillion.
This group of young people carries influence with the money they spend every single day. If there was ever a time to be shaping our financial plans and goals, now is the time. We must see that the $2.5 trillion spent in 2015 determines more than just Apple’s marketing strategy for the future—this money determines the influence made upon communities of people. Churches. Organizations. Missions that have a vision for the future with success that hinges on Millennials.
Don’t each of us want to leave a legacy?
I had the opportunity to give this talk last year on “Leaving a Legacy” which includes some of the information shared in this post:
A few practical applications based on this information for Millennials:
1. Do we have a functioning budget that identifies areas of excess?
Budgets only work if we visit them on a regular basis—for some this is weekly or monthly. Several friends are huge fans of Mint, an app that allows you to set financial goals and track them according to your plugged in bank accounts, credit card(s), etc.
Let’s not make light of things like a “shopping problem”, eating out way too often, or splurges that throw off our entire month. The online shopping world makes this a terrible temptation, huh? Remember that building our legacies will not include the times that we stayed in a rut and continued overspending on something so minute.
2. Do we have financial goals?
Set some financial goals for yourself and share them with the people that need to know. Paying off student loans by a specific month and year, doubling your annual giving to a specific organization, and purchasing a home by a certain time frame with 20% down are all great examples. Be specific when it comes to your timing; for me, this is the fire I need to stay on track and not deviate from the plan.
3. Do we have a partner to achieve these goals?
I remember setting up an appointment with a financial planner after college graduation and accepting my first job. I felt utterly silly. What did I have in my name? A bachelors degree and a few cows. Seriously. But I am so glad that I made that contact and have built financial plans with this person. We all need a partner who is an expert in this space and is someone we can trust. Have someone on your team that is thinking for you in this area, deciphering all of the complicated financial lingo, and keeping you on track to achieve your goals.
4. How do we think about leaving a legacy?
It is so tempting to avoid giving generously as a Millennial. We have college loans, vehicles to pay for, young families to support all while being in the early stages of our careers.
But think about our money’s impact both positive and negative. The more we grasp on to it tighter and tighter for self-interest, the more it takes over and consumes us. We may become excellent at budgeting and saving but have our identities wrapped up in $$$. On the other hand, becoming an excellent steward while giving generously becomes a healthy cycle and starts us on our path to leaving a legacy.
These words don’t come from someone who is acting as if she has this figured out, nailed down, and living out well. I’ve been fortunate enough to surround myself with excellent examples of stewards who give generously in their communities. These are their words of wisdom and the proof is in the pudding with those folks—years of consistency and years of leaving a legacy.
On to motivation number two:
I had the great opportunity last fall to participate in EDGEx (video shared earlier) at America’s Best Hope, and this was only possible because of an organization called EDGE. If we’ve spent more than ten minutes in conversation around personal and professional development, we’ve likely discussed EDGE, an organization I’ve been blessed to be a part of for almost four years.
EDGE mentoring is a faith-based organization focused on mentoring millennials by partnering emerging leaders who are hungry to grow with seasoned mentors who want to invest in the next generation.