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Generation Y’s Difficult Financial Decisions

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Adrian Musolino
Adrian Musolino

Generation Y, defined as anyone born between 1978 and 2000, usually owners of an iPod, seen hanging out in trendy nights spots at all hours, notorious big spenders and likely to switch employers as regularly as relationships. But how will the impact of the global financial crisis hit Gen Y?

The global financial crisis is the first severe recession Gen Y has faced, in the main they have lived in a period of economic stability and job opportunity at home and abroad. 

They have had freedom of career choice and enormous opportunities to work in an increasingly global community.

But there are a few factors that have halted Gen Y’s economic prosperity namely the increasing and exorbitant university fees that mean students leave university with a degree, a potential career and huge debt which restricts their ability to afford a home in a market crowded out by investors.

With interest rates plummeting and Governments offering first time home buyers special grants and dispensations this may be the time for Gen Y to get out of the rental market and commit to home ownership and a mortgage.

But Gen Y and home loans seem like an odd couple.

The active social lives of Gen Y and the temptation of travel, especially working overseas, flies in the face of budgeting, regular repayments and the commitment required for a home loan. The insecure job market doesn’t help either. 

But in the face of the biggest recession of their lives, especially in an incredibly unstable job market, there are signs that some members of Gen Y are changing their spending and lifestyle habits. 

My friends and I have noted that our social lives have changed in past year or so; there is less clubbing and pubs, more DVD nights in, especially for those of us either committed or committing to a mortgage. 

The concern amongst us is our financial health, is the balance in our bank accounts healthy enough? Are we financially healthy? How can one even go about measuring that in this climate? Financially secure doesn’t seem to apply anymore especially for those out of work. 

As the economy and job markets contract Gen Y is facing tough times and even tougher decisions. 

In typical Gen Y style I find myself naively wishing the economy rebounds back to good health with the same speed, as everything else seems to change at my age.

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