As North Americans, we enjoy grouping and analyzing generational cohorts on any number of topics. While they share common experiences that influence their life choices, there also is significant diversity of the members of any generational cohort. That’s certainly true for millennials and their savings. According to a 2018 Bank of America survey, 16 percent of millennials have $100,000 or more in savings. But nearly half—especially younger millennials—have no savings at all, according to Gobankingrates.com. In Canada, millennials have taken to heart the need to save for retirement, with nearly 68 percent doing so. Yet, many fall short saving for other needs.
Benjamin Felix from The Globe and Mail describes three reasons to save: 1) emergency needs, 2) intermediate needs (think major expenses), and 3) long-term needs (like retirement savings). Each category is important, but each one also requires different considerations. Saving for emergencies lowers the need for borrowing and additional debt. Saving for intermediate needs (like weddings, vacations, and cars) involves discernment about how important the expense really is and if there are ways to be more economical. Saving for retirement as early and consistently as possible will reap big benefits when those days of leisure finally arrive.
Understanding the different ways to save is important. Cutting back on expenses may be the first thing you are able to do. As you become increasingly successful at saving, you also need to become more savvy. It is important to understand your savings as investments, and that can be complicated! The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority website lists at least nine different types of investments, and within each is a myriad of possibilities. But by being savvy about your savings, you can make them grow even faster. You also can learn how to prioritize and choose the best types of investments for your savings needs.
This month the COMPASS Initiative invites you to get savvy about saving:
- Get great insights every week on this blog and on our Twitter feed and Facebook page.
- Join us for a Live Chat with Denise Wayman, regional operations manager for Everence, on Thursday, April 26, 2:00 p.m. Eastern time, 1:00 p.m. Central time, Noon Mountain time, and 11:00 a.m. Pacific time.
As followers of Jesus, what we do with our money is part of our Christian witness. Let’s get savvy about saving, so we can use our money in ways that express gratitude for God’s generosity to us and allow us to do the work of God in the world.
About the Author
Marcia Shetler is Executive Director/CEO of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center. She holds an MA in philanthropy and development from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, a BS in business administration from Indiana Wesleyan University, and a Bible certificate from Eastern Mennonite University. She formerly served as administrative staff in two middle judicatories of the Church of the Brethren, and as director of communications and public relations for Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Indiana, an administrative faculty position. Marcia’s vocational, spiritual, and family experiences have shaped her vision and passion for faithful stewardship ministry that recognizes and celebrates the diversity of Christ’s church and the common call to all disciples to the sacred practice of stewardship. She enjoys connecting, inspiring, and equipping Christian steward leaders to transform church communities.
This blog is a component of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center’s COMPASS Initiative to engage young adults in conversations about faith and finances. Like what you see and want to know/do more? Visit the COMPASS web page, follow us on Twitter, and join the COMPASS community on Facebook.