It seems we’ve finally found a financial institution that we can actually trust: Reddit.
After witnessing big banks nuke our economy into dust at a very formative age, we’ve all but abandoned traditional financial consulting in favor of anonymous financial advice from our peers on the Internet. Obviously.
Taking Our Business Elsewhere
Reddit users are flocking to the viral personalfinance subreddit, which draws nearly five million readers across the globe. From the basic “How long to wait to file taxes?” to the more personal “Forced to make a choice between long commute or higher rent. What do I do?”, users are baring all their financial qualms under their anonymous Reddit pseudonyms.
This validates a finding from iQuantifi’s Millennial Money Mindset Survey, which determined that almost three-quarters of millennials seek financial advice from a family member (71 percent) or a friend (45 percent). When it comes to financial planning, 76 percent said they would be comfortable utilizing a free personal finance app or online resource to achieve their planning goals.
Almost half of the virtual bulletin board’s 36 million users are between the ages of 18 and 24, with the remaining 50 percent or so checking the “25-to-34” box, according to a volunteer survey Reddit conducted of its users in July of 2015. For the 55-and-older crowd wondering where the hell we get our financial advice from as we supposedly run the country into the ground, there’s your answer. Although Baby Boomers shouldn’t be so surprised considering they’re the generation that failed to provide us with a proper financial education growing up.
This should also assuage the panic not-so-subtly expressed in a recent report from PwC and the George Washington Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC), which boldly asserted that we “don’t seek professional financial help.”
“Although the majority of Millennials have inadequate financial knowledge, they are not consulting financial professionals to compensate for that deficit,” read the report. Approximately 27 percent of the 25 to 34-year-olds surveyed had sought professional help regarding savings and investments in the past five years, while just 12 percent sought advice regarding debt management.
The report ended with an ominous warning: “If Millennials don’t ask for help, their financial problems could extend or worsen in the future.” Thanks for that.
Just because our money management methods aren’t traditional doesn’t make them any less effective – especially considering that the tools for financial success weren’t exactly available in our secondary education classrooms. As digital natives, it makes sense that we’d turn to the online community we’ve grown up with for peer-to-peer financial advice. As long as we’re effectively managing our finances, who cares what tools we use to get there?
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