Health and Wellness

Millennials Are Delaying Life Events Due to Inflation

March 31, 2022

According to a new survey, millennials are feeling forced to postpone big life events because of inflation. Find out what you can do to make the most of this uncertain time.

a vacuum sucking up money on a wood floor

Being an adult has its challenges. I’m sure there are days when we all wake up wishing for the simplicity of our childhood years. But with adulthood also comes exciting moments and life events that we often spend years of our lives dreaming of. Unfortunately, many people are feeling forced to set aside their dreams when faced with the reality of inflation, as it continues to rise. 

Just when it finally felt like things might be starting to return to normal, we are confronted with yet another set of unprecedented circumstances. Tensions between Russia and Ukraine astonish the world as they escalate to full blown war. Inflation reaches the highest its been in decades and continues to climb. Experts disagree about the timelines, but many are certain that it is going to be some time before we see the Federal Reserve’s target inflation rate return.

The Federal Reserve claims that the high inflation is due to the pandemic and that it is transitory, but many experts disagree, claiming it is much more severe than they give it credit for.

What steps are people taking to counteract inflation?

According to a new study by Nationwide, the American people are taking important steps to help steel themselves against the rising inflation.

Here are some of things that they are doing:

man and woman cooking together in a kitchen

Eating out less:

A whopping 48% people surveyed are taking this action. Cooking at home is a fantastic way to save money, and even learn a new skill. 

•  Driving less:

35% of people say they will be trying to drive less. This is not possible for everyone, but with the cost of gas and car maintenance, it is certain to be a very effective way of shaving down the budget. 

• Relying more on credit cards:

Out of everyone surveyed, 21% of people plan on using their credit cards more. This can be a slippery slope and with interest rates potentially rising could end up causing more harm than good.

• Moving in with family to save money:

14% of people considered moving in with family to save money. This is an especially common idea for Gen Z. Another idea would be to look into getting a roommate or subletting a room in your house. 

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• Reducing contributions to their 401(k):

While many people feel the absence of their 401K contribution from their paycheck, it may be a good idea to see what else you can cut from your budget before considering reducing your contribution. Although 10% of people from this survey said they would be reducing the contribution, that is a great asset to your future and a dignified retirement. Sometimes it is better to experience pain in the short term and gain in the future.

How is inflation affecting people’s livlihoods?

Even after these major lifestyle changes many are still being forced to consider temporarily postponing, or even giving up, the life events that many have waited, what feels like an eternity, for. In a survey conducted by Insider, 2096 Americans were polled. Out of this number, the 670 millennial’s had the highest rates of postponing import life events.

a tiny toy house with a large key on a keychain next to it

These events included:

  • Buying a home (50%)
  • Having a medical procedure (49%)
  • Quitting a job (41%)
  • Starting a business (31%)
  • Having children (28%)
  • Getting Married (26%)
  • Entering a relationship (20%)
  • Ending a relationship (19%)

In each of these categories, these numbers were MORE than double those of their baby boomer counterparts, who were also surveyed. It is hard to imagine finally reaching the stage of life where you can afford big ticket items, only to discover that once you get there they have been priced out of your reach. The Federal Reserve has hinted that it may raise interest rates in order to help counteract inflation, but rising interest rates will also have a negative effect.

So how can you make the most of this uncertain time?

a clear jar full of change labeled house fund

My number one tip, and something we have been working VERY hard on in my house is this: Create a serious budget.

Decide at the beginning of the month where every dollar is headed. There are plenty of amazing budgeting apps out there. Creating a budget for the first time involves some work up front. Research what your necessities cost and give every incoming dollar a name (rent, groceries, credit card bill, internet, etc…). Assign anything leftover to an emergency fund or a fund for your special life event. Some people even choose to throw extra on their debts to pay them down faster. We are living in a time that is very uncertain financially. This is not the time to be wild and unpredictable with your money. Go through your subscriptions and cancel anything you are not using. Use an app to help you find the cheapest gas prices. Consider eating more veggies, beans and rice to help keep your food bills lower. Buy meat based on what is on sale. Find communities online that are dedicated to financial well-being and get tips on ways to budget, save money, or complete DIY projects in the cheapest way possible.

a tiny baby hand holds on to an adult pinky finger

The truth is that people have been having major life events like the ones mentioned above for our entire history. And we know that there have been times that were much darker than anything we are dealing with now. My final words are an encouragement, to remember that everything is not about the material. The best things in life really are simple. A small wedding ceremony with close friends and family can be just as magical as a $10,000 event. Your first home doesn’t have to be your dream home. ANYONE can learn how to do simple home improvement and car fixes (thank you Youtube). There is NEVER a “right” time to have kids. If most of us had waited until we were “financially secure” we would still be waiting. It is great to be wise and have a plan. It is great to be aware of what is going on in the world financially. But don’t let it stop you from finding joy and experiencing life’s simple moments.

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