In life, you’re not in charge of the hand you’re dealt, but how you play the game.
According to research done by Junior Achievement USA, millennials and “generation Z’s” need a better game plan.
- For the most part, starting salaries haven't increased in 10 to 15 years
- Out of 1,000 U.S. students surveyed by JA, only 43 percent believe they will have paid off their students loans by the age of 30
- The survey found credit cards are a main cause of debt in young adults
“Starting salaries haven’t increased. So people, in fact, are poorer than they were 10 or 15 years ago," said Fred Floss, economics professor at SUNY Buffalo State.
Floss says more young people are living at home after college than before, but “laziness” is not the excuse.
"You’ve gone to college and you have student debt. It only makes logical sense for you to stay home and try to pay off your debt as soon as you can," he said.
Out of the 1,000 U.S. young adults surveyed, only 43 percent believe they will have paid off their students loans by the age of 30.
Spectrum News spoke with students on Buff State’s campus to see what they thought.
"I want to be a lawyer so I have to go to law school, so that's even more debt. I'm working to save up the money to continue paying my college in addition to paying the debt I have after college," said Juliana Lainez, a freshman at Buff State.
"School-wise I'm debt free and I don't have any credit cards to I try to keep it up. I plan to get debt free," added Conner Wilson, a junior at Buff State.
But Wilson might be more the exception than the rule.
The survey found credit cards are a main cause of debt in young adults. Floss says plastic is still relatively new – being able to buy items without having cash on hand, or possibly in the bank.
"It’s not that our parents were better at managing their money, they just didn’t have any alternative to manage money because when their money ran out, they had to stop spending," explained Floss.
The solution: start putting money in a savings account. Floss says it’s easier said than done, but setting money aside will help slow down spending and lessen the debt.
Floss adds Buff State, and various other colleges, offer a class for students — specifically freshman — that teach them how to invest and save money in general.
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