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How Can Social Media Change the Financial Literacy Mindset of Millennials?





When talking about financial literacy, most of the things I learned are from the discussions I have had with my friends and personal research through the pages of the internet. In simplest terms, financial literacy is budgeting your money and understanding how money works so that you will get the most of its value over time.

I feel that the lessons I got in the classrooms during my high school years were inadequate. Either they lacked content or I didn't have a mature mindset to understand inflation, the stock market, insurance, and other technical financial jargons back then. In my mind at that time: I just needed to pass this subject!

And here comes the so-called "real world" after graduating college. After my 15 years of studying, where will I go next? Will my family expect me to be already earning enough money and can I give them a monthly portion of my paycheck? When will I reach my first million peso savings?

Like you, my fellow millennials, it was only after I got my first salary that I realized my mother was a superhero. How else could she budget all the money she earned and making sure it was enough to feed a family of four?!

For the first four years after graduating college, I saved almost nothing. I traveled a few places and made memories with my friends, but how about an update on my first million peso savings? I did my Math and, unfortunately, I'm not getting that amount in the next ten years if I only save my money in the bank.


FINANCIAL LITERACY MINDSET


My fellow millennials, it is more important to have the right mindset towards money and budgeting before any lesson in financial literacy. No matter how much a person can understand concepts, it is useless when he/she cannot give time and effort in applying these lessons in life.

What is the right mindset? For me, is it when you realize that money will depreciate its value over the years. Your P1,000 today has less value compared to what you can get from that amount 10 years ago. Special thanks to inflation for making that happen. Inflation is the rate in which the goods and services are rising and the purchasing power of our money is falling.

What should we do then? Beat inflation. How? By being financially literate!

The goal of financial literacy is saving enough money for the future making it possible for us to move forward from any untoward event in our life that needs a substantial amount of money. Like an untimely death of a family member. Or an accident. Marriage? Yes, and having a family, too. All these events will make you rethink your budgeting skills.

Being financially literate is to understand that saving in the bank isn't enough. Nor keeping your cash on time deposit. Why? The average rate of inflation is 4-6% annually while the average interest rate in the bank is less than 1%. This only means one thing: you're losing money if you rely on bank savings!

I can still remember my grade school teacher telling me to start saving my money in the bank to earn interest. I wish I could talk to her again soon and tell her that the bank isn't the best place to put my savings in. Since I already understand this, I feel the need to share this with you, my fellow millennials.

The main question is: are you ready to save for the future the right way starting today?


READ: 10 Tips For A Better Life Ahead: The Millennial Way


MILLENNIAL MINDSET


I have observed that my fellow millennials are enjoying their budget travels inside and outside of the Philippines. Some of them are enjoying their weekend lifestyle in bars, cafes, and restaurants. A few have already bought policies from insurance companies and made several types of investments. Which one are you?

Sure enough, it is very millennial to explore the wonders of the Philippines. And eventually, the world. We have an active body willing to be at the summit of the mountain. Or the depths of the sea. Thus, it is a no-brainer why we see many millennials taking this adventure of a lifetime today! Documenting our travels is what millennials do best, right?

When not traveling, millennials can usually be found at nearby coffee shops and bars. In fact, aside from studying, the usual destination for barkada meetups is the coffee shop. These places are popping up like mushrooms in almost every corner of the city. The demand is brought about by the millennial population's need for a friendly ambiance to chill and unwind from the stress at work. Or getting a break from school. Imagine how many cups of coffee each customer buys in a month.

Now, what if the amount spent by the millennials in traveling or buying expensive coffee was invested the right way? There would be enough to secure the future!

I'm happy to see that I already have friends who understand the worth of our money. They have already made several exciting investments in the stock market, became members of a local cooperative, and have purchased life and health insurance policies. When I asked my friends about why they're already making these various financial investments, here are some of their answers:
  • a relative is selling insurance policy and helped him understand its value,
  • her father died and her family has to loan money for his medical expenses and burial because he didn't have insurance,
  • he wants to retire at 50 and spend the rest of his life relying on passive income, and
  • she's a family breadwinner and becoming a cooperative member will save her from financial burden.
The question is: how will I convince you that we need to start saving today, my fellow millennial?


READ: Dear Millennials, Let's Use Technology To Save Our Future


POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA


With just a click of a button, you can now send a message to someone on the other side of the world. With more and more Filipinos having access to the platform, it is the easiest way to connect family and friends wherever they are in the world.

I recently made an experiment on social media. These are the two posts I wrote on Facebook to illustrate my point. First, I asked my friends what are the best type of insurance for me. And several weeks after that post, I posted about different types of investments they can recommend to me.





You can check the comment sections of each post to acquire financial tips from my friends.

This is just one way of utilizing social media when making a financial decision. Note that the quality of your network should be considered. Thus, it is best to research which groups and pages are giving quality financial advice and connect with them.

When in doubt, the best thing you can do is ask. Either your friends can answer your question or they will tag a friend whom they think will be able to help you with your problem. That happened to me when I asked for an insurance recommendation.

With that single post, I’ve had meetups with financial advisors from various companies and discussed with them what I needed and how much I can afford. It was exciting for me as these meetups have made me understand more financial jargon, especially dealing with insurance policies.

You can also try this experiment. In just a day or so, you will see yourself either talking to several friends or be researching more topics with the help of the internet. Like you, I'm continuously learning to understand this financial world for me to have a more secure future. It's a long way ahead but as long as we are hungry for new information, we'll eventually get there.

Always remember this: with the right mindset, a brighter day awaits, my fellow millennials.

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