Young adults, including those on Texas A&M-University San Antonio, are taking out mortgages, paying off their debts and engaging in real life responsibilities. Not all Millennials are living in a material world, spending Madonna-style money to look and feel as American culture would try and persuade them.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Millennial generation, born between 1980-2000, has grown to 83.1 million and represents more than one-quarter of the nation’s population. That exceeds the Baby Boomer generation, born 1946-1964, making it the biggest generation in U.S. history.
Researchers have spent considerable time figuring out how millennial spending habits differ from the Baby Boomer Generation. A 2014 article in Time Magazine said Millennials are reluctant to make major purchases and home ownership has dropped among these frugal savers. But interviews with students across A&M-San Antonio show many of them are breaking that mold and aim to own their homes.
These young adults have more to invest to their future than allowing loose reins on their spending habits.
“[I’m] buying to own my own home right now,” said Marketing student Veronica Guajardo, age 30. “I pay off my phone bill, mortgage, car, school and small credit cards every month.”
If Millennials aren’t ready to purchase or rent a home, those in San Antonio expressed an interest in buying a home for their future.
“I do not [own a home] right now, but I am looking for one,” said Biology major Leslie Caballero, age 21. “I am shopping to buy.”
According to Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research, the peaking age of Millennials purchasing a home ranges from 25-45-year-olds.
“I plan to own a home as soon as I graduate,” said Bilingual major James Robles, age 23. “I expect to graduate next May and have a full-time job. By then I want to start looking at mortgages.”
Millennials are spending remaining funds after paying bills for streaming services like Netflix or Spotify.
“I have Netflix, credit cards, and a Best Buy card,” Robles said. “I buy a lot of clothes and hats. I pay about $100 a month for those little luxuries.”
As stated in Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research, Millennials are sharing streaming services to save money.
“I have Pandora only. I don’t have Netflix, but I do bum off from my sister and use it through her,” Guajardo said.
Not all Millennials are living at home with their parents. Some are the breadwinners of their families, as reported by Forbes.
“My mom, my sister, and brother live with me in the home I’m renting right now. I pay the water bill and light bill, and my mom pays the rent, so we split the bills in half,” Robles said. “I’m the father figure of my house, so I pay those bills.”
Many Millennials are saving more money at a younger age compared to the generations before. Many accredit their saving practices to their parents.
“My dad was into teaching my siblings and I about savings and how to spend our money,” Guajardo said. ”I am the youngest out of my three siblings, and they have also taught me how to use my checkbook.”
“I think I do manage my money well. I work in a bank, so I have investments and savings. I think for being younger and getting a house on your own is a huge accomplishment,” Guajardo said.
For Millennials who struggle to balance their money, Texas A&M-San Antonio Career Services is hosting Money Smart Week: A week of presentations to determine expenses and income and tools to start a business.
Students can attend Money Smart Week April 27 in two places, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Central Academic Building lobby, or 5:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m. at Brooks City-Base Campus, Room 135.