Instead, they are prioritizing activities they couldn’t do before and making strategic financial moves. For 18-year-old Anousha Ahmed, earning income at her first job meant more discretionary income.
“My focus wasn’t really saving,” said Ahmed.
She was able to use her money on experiences such as concerts, traveling, eating at restaurants and going roller skating. To her, the pandemic showed how quickly “normal” can be redefined. That’s why it's been important that she makes up for those missed years with good memories.
While those like Ahmed are looking to take advantage of their post-lockdown time for activities, others may be looking for some kind of control amid economic uncertainty, Lauryn Williams, a certified financial planner, says someone told her, “I don't want to lose anything else, I feel like I'm losing money all the time.”
Williams added, “Some people may decide to hold onto their money or put it into things they can control.”
She suggested that young people think about ways to invest in their own personal and professional development, such as starting a business or attending graduate school. Even while she recommends beginning retirement savings as soon as possible, she acknowledges that delaying retirement savings isn't always a negative thing to do.
“More young professionals are betting on themselves,” said Williams. “They're looking at the investment in themselves as their retirement plan, like I can fill this thing. And that's going to be the payoff.”
“Right now, [they may be thinking] I don't want to put money into a retirement account, because that's taking away from the dollars that I have been able to invest in myself and what I'm trying to do to achieve my dreams and create an impact for the world.”
Williams suggests people find a financial balance and select areas in their lives where they can make adjustments on their spending to be able to do the things on their priority list.