As Millennials become the most numerous generation in the workforce, they have a real need to prepare for the future financially. But the Great Recession and massive student loan debt has left many of them distrustful of investing and financial planning.
However, Millennials are getting their financial advice from somewhere. To help ensure it’s sound, a host of tools have sprung up specifically to target them with information and advice they can relate to, and more importantly, act on with confidence.
Breaking Stride with Tradition
Whereas their parents and grandparents sought out help from financial advisers and big investment firms whose names make up the backbone of Wall Street, financial planning for Millennials is different. They want information that’s tailored to them by members of their own generation who understand the distinct challenges they face. The key is delivering credibility, Emily Holbrook, Northwestern Mutual’s director of the young personal market, told Yahoo.
“That peer-to-peer contact, and content, is really important,” Holbrook said.
Understanding the importance of peer-to-peer contact and content written by and for Millennials, a number of new tools and websites aim to deliver exactly that. They are attracting Millennials by offering useful strategies for savings, or simply by providing guidance that rings true to the ears of young professionals.
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Financial Tools that Add up for Millennials
When it comes to resources that strike a chord with Millennials, these are among the most popular for helping younger working adults plan and save:
Digit – This unique app is designed to help users save money a little bit at a time. Once connected to a user’s checking account, the app makes withdrawals every few days (usually between $5 and $50 at a time) and transfers the funds into a savings account. The program tracks spending habits, only siphons a little off with every withdrawal and offers a no-overdraft guarantee to make saving less stressful.
Money placed in a Digit savings account can be transferred back into a checking account within one business day. The tool is free to use and gives bonuses for deposits over $100 that are left in savings for three months.
The Mint Grad – This website, created by founding partner Northwestern Mutual, reaches out to provide recent graduates with a number of resources. It offers hands-on tools, planning aids, financial advice geared specifically for younger adults and even a social aspect where users can engage in conversations about personal finance. Access to the tools and information provided by The Mint Grad comes at no charge.
The Society of Grownups – Similar to The Mint Grad, the Society of Grownups offers a variety of information and tools Millennials can use to define and set financial goals, create spending and savings plans and learn more about capitalizing on personal wealth. But unlike other options, the society also plays host to live classes, special events and dinners at its headquarters in Brookline, Mass. Information and tools available on the website are free to access, but some of the live events do have program fees attached.
As the Society of Grownups points out on its website, “Every generation has its own dreams. And its own ideas about success. But the only path to happiness is the one built on your individual goals and values.” Through resources such as those offered by the society, the Mint Grad and Digit, Millennials are charting their own course to personal financial success.