A curious trend has surfaced within the thinkpiece journalism of contemporary culture in recent years. It involves making sweeping and largely inaccurate generalisations about the economic circumstances of entire generations – often accompanied by unhelpful scaremongering that doesn’t consider the realities of many young people’s lives.
The pessimism – and it usually is pessimism – is a self-fulfilling prophecy that’s fuelled largely by the media juggernaut responsible for reporting it – but even intergenerationally, it would appear that everyone and their mother has an opinion about how people (and mostly 20-35 year olds) are spending their money. It’s been reported that 60% of millennials would rather spend their income on in-the-moment pleasures rather than saving for the future, which makes sense given the climate of financial instability most millennials have grown up in.
With skyrocketing student loan debts, insane house prices and major changes to traditional structures of living and working – for example, the concept of a job for life, which is now pretty much obsolete – millennials are living and spending differently to any other generation before. In short: there’s more brunching, less future-targeted number crunching – or so we’re told.
And there’s some truth to it. Even anecdotally speaking, it’s just a fact that it is a lot harder to buy a house now than it was 30 years ago, and millennials do tend to spend more money on experiences than stuff (although that, we might add, is rather less to do with the humble avocado – and more to do with economic conditions invoked by the decisions of previous generations *cough*).
We built Starling because we want to help people enjoy a better relationship with their money, achieve their loftiest goals and as a result, live the very best version of their own lives. Because money – our often-tempestuous relationship with it; a dearth or surplus of it – isn’t necessarily the measure of success or a guarantee of joy, but managing it well does allow us to grow hopes and dreams into tangible real-life triumphs. That’s partly why we built our newest feature Goals, as it’s a place to define those dreams, visualise them and set money aside for making them come true.