It’s no secret that Millennials are in a difficult financial situation, and their burden isn’t theirs alone: The generations owes $1.1 trillion, nearly one-third of the U.S. consumer debt total of $3.6 trillion. That amount pushes American debt to nearly 20 percent of the nation’s GDP, a record of dismal proportions.
Between the sky-high levels of student debt and Millennials’ fear of credit card debt (which even exceeds their fear of death), it’s easy to see that the generation that came of age around the turn of the century didn’t get here by following one path alone. The pulls on their finances come from all sides, making it hard to keep track.
Millennials Will Find A Way To Save
However, Millennials who want to pay off their student loans, buy a house, or start a family need to find ways to save money. That doesn’t necessarily entail getting a second (or third) job, working overtime, or eating ramen for an entire month.
As these platforms show, money savings can be found in the things Millennials are already doing.
The oldest Millennials are in their mid-30s, so it’s not surprising that many are focused on having children and buying homes for their families. The cost alone can often scare them off — homes are less affordable for Millennials than they are for the overall population — but they can also be dissuaded by the thought of forking over more hard-earned money in commission to realtors.
Beycome is a real estate platform that aims to remove the middlemen (aka realtors) and eliminate commission so buyers and sellers can negotiate and complete the transaction entirely online. This platform is focused on helping buyers become their own real estate agents.
Beycome educates aspiring homeowners, keeps the lines of communication open between the two parties who stand to benefit, and helps them close faster.
The platform found its users closed approximately two weeks faster than those in traditional homebuying transactions. With the average commission for realtors hovering around 5 percent, that’s a lot of cash back in Millennials’ pockets.
Taxes and home purchases are usually large expenditures that Millennials consider once a year at most, so how do they track their more routine budget? With credit card debt at a record high and some Millennials believing erroneous advice such as “skipping a payment will improve your credit score,” it’s clear that attention needs to be directed at Millennials’ daily spending habits.
Chime is a banking platform dedicated to helping users save money — literally. The mobile banking app automatically sets up a savings account for users, enabling them to allocate 10 percent of every paycheck to the savings account. By doing so they will get additional savings by enrolling in the Automatic Savings program with the Chime debit card.
The FDIC-insured app’s spending account allows the cardholder to see immediately what’s been deposited and what’s been spent to analyze spending as it happens. The trickle-out effect can be as strong as the trickle-down effect, and it makes a real-time banking app incredibly useful for Millennials.
If this sounds like Millennials aren’t allowed to have fun — “That’s how they got here in the first place, darn whippersnappers!” — that’s not the case. Financial advisors typically recommend that people on a budget build in some “fun money” so they know they have an outlet when they’re celebrating, frustrated, or in need of some pampering.
Viggle offers Millennials a way to have their cake and eat it, too: The app lets users “check in” when watching live or streaming TV to earn points, earning more points the longer they watch. If they want to pile on even more points, they can earn bonuses by playing real-time trivia or watching shows with bonus “Point” badges.
Accumulated points can be redeemed in the form of vendor gift cards, prizes, or prepaid debit cards. That means that Millennials not only earned money by doing something relaxing, but they can also turn around and spend that money on something else that’s fun without breaking their budget.
Millennials don’t find themselves in the easiest financial position.
That doesn’t mean, however, that they can’t save money and put themselves in a better spot. These three platforms offer ways for Millennials to put more money back into their budget by doing the things they already do — but better. This empowers them to go after their goals, and that benefits the entire economy.