My company puts financial education programs in the workplace. Here’s a sample of a very common response from people who have attended my workshop:
“Jim was absolutely terrific. I wish I had taken this course years ago in my 20’s or 30’s and I probably would have retired 10 years earlier. This course should be mandatory for all employees in their 30’s. I wish my children could have dome to this course.”
I’m biased but I could not agree more. Here’s the problem. We offer courses to the 20 and 30 year olds but they just do not seem as interested in retirement and personal finance like the 40, 50 and 60 years olds. Maybe there’s a greater sense of urgency the older you get. Maybe young people just have different priorities. Maybe young people are just learning in different ways.
Some young people do care!
I recently read an article on Why 30 year olds are screwed. The original article makes some really good points but at the same time, it’s a bit of an over generalization since there are some 20 and 30 year olds that do keenly enjoy and practice good money habits.
In spending a lot more time blogging, tweeting, posting, etc. I have discovered a lot of young bloggers who do care about personal finance and they are very vocal about it. The social media revolution has created new ways to share and I think it has also created a new interest in personal finance from a younger demographic.
Take Crystal from BudgetingInTheFunStuff.com as an example. In her 20’s, she says “I was always a natural budgeter. My parents were a big financial influence. Money is a big part of everybody’s life including mine, so it is just a matter of me typing out what’s happening right now.”
And then there’s Briana from 20andEngaged.com who despite her youth is a blogging veteran with a passion for food, family and finance. She blogs about life as a young fiance. She got into personal finance and money through her previous job, working as a Social Media Coordinator for a personal finance website, “I was surrounded by it daily, and had to represent it, so I figured I needed to learn it. Who knew it would influence me the way it did?”
I discovered both Briana and Crystal through their work at FinancialHighway.com which is another site run by Tom Drake who is also a young blogger, though no longer in his 20's. I’ve had the privilege of knowing Tom for a little over a year now and we’ve developed a great friendship. I have a lot of respect for Tom’s passion for personal finance.
Other Young Canadian Bloggers
When I think of young Canadian bloggers, I think of two personal finance bloggers that have stood out for me as pretty influential sources:
The first is Krystal Yee who started blogging in 2007 because she needed to change her life, “I was over $20,000 in debt, and I had a hard time figuring out how to get out of it. Debt does nothing but weigh you down and prevent you from having the life that you really want for yourself, and I wanted to start living my life as soon as possible.”
A self proclaimed ‘former shopaholic’, says her blog forced her to be accountable for her spending, “Having to write down my goals for anyone to see, forced me to take it seriously.”
And then there’s Young and Thrifty from Vancouver BC. who says, “I started blogging because I wanted an outlet where I could talk freely about money. I felt the need to spread the word about how awesome personal finance really is, and spread it to my fellow generation Y'ers.”
A few pearls of wisdom
I asked these four young women to share their BEST advice to other young people trying to get ahead financially and here’s what they said:
Crystal from Budgeting In The Fun Stuff – Start saving early. Compound interest is a wonderful thing and people in their 20’s need to know that amazing returns can be made by the time they hit their mid-life crisis if they simply start saving ASAP. My advice is to prioritize spending and start saving as soon as humanly possible.
Krystal from Give me back my five bucks and 20-something and change – My best advice for young people is to start understanding and getting a grasp on personal finance as early as possible. The earlier you can get yourself out of debt, save money, and establish a path to financial independence, the better off you’ll be.
Young and Thrifty – My BEST advice would be to automate your finances. Don't wait until you have money left over from all your expenses to put into savings. Pay yourself first. You'll be surprised how quickly your money starts to save up. Once you have some money to invest with, you can then learn about investing that money. But if you don't have money to use in the first place, you're not off to a good start.
Brianna from 20 and Engaged – My best advice for young people is to be yourself. Financially, start saving early, even if it's a few cents at a time.
More young bloggers.
Because I am not young and I focus more on retirement planning for boomers and the already retired, I also asked them to share some other young bloggers that might help young people with personal finance. Here's a few blogs to check out!
Budgeting In The Fun Stuff
20 and Engaged
Sweating the Big Stuff
Give me back my five bucks
20-something and change
Fabulously Broke in the City
Young and Thrifty
Punch Debt in the Face
I think it’s kind of tough for young people because there are less formal venues to get financial education. It can be tough for younger people to find advice through traditional means. Because the financial industry is scaleable, their lack of substantial wealth means financial adviors are reluctant to spend time on them. As a result, young bloggers can fill a void in personal finance resources for young people.
What are some other blogs that are aimed at helping young people?