Tag Archives: Millennials

Millennials and Credit Cards

good bad creditI remember my first credit card – an Elder-Beerman’s department store charge card with the astronomical limit of $500. I had just turned 22, and by age 22 and 1 month my ex had maxxed the thing out. Talk about starting your credit history with a bang!

People that age are called Millennials now, and many of them are making the same mistakes, according to a sobering but helpful article entitled “Credit Card Mistakes Are Costing Millennials Plenty: What Not to Do.”  Here are the common pitfalls the Millennials find themselves in..

  • Applying for too many cards and too often: You need a certain level of income to qualify for a credit card. If you don’t have it, you are rejected, and that goes against your credit score. Second, after a rejection, too many young folks just walk to the next kiosk in the mall and apply for a different card. Applying too often is another stain on your record. This article suggests waiting 6 months to a year between applications.
  • Avoiding credit cards altogether: Surprisingly, over 30% do this. It’s not enough to avoid bad credit, you also have to build GOOD credit. Having a credit card with a modest balance and making regular, timely payments is how you get auto loans, mortgage loans and good insurance rates later in life.
  • Taking it to The Max! Maxxing out your credit card suggests you are not in control. It’s also costly. If you hit the max, most credit cards will hit you with punishing interest rates of 25% or more! And yet, it happens, which is one reason why 21-25 year olds have $13K in debt, and by age 30 it has TRIPLED.
  • Last-second payments. Late fees, man, determined partly by your balance. High balance late fees hurt! The good news is that if it’s a rare occurrence, you have a very high chance (over 80%!) of getting the late fees waived.

So, the hazards are real. Best to be aware of them, and watch your step, because it can take YEARS to straighten this stuff out (trust me.) Be sure to read the original piece for more info about services that can help you stay on the straight path.  How about you? Are you of that age, making common mistakes? Or was that you 10 or 15 years ago? How did you pull it out? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Millennial Retail Blues

sales downWhen it comes to their sales numbers and their future predictions, are retailers “terrified”? An article entitled “An emerging American trend is terrifying news for Macy’s, Kohl’s, and JC Penney” suggests that they should be. Another one says, “Kohl’s is getting crushed.” Also, “Macy’s offers an ominous insight about American consumers.” Another piece (without a sexy title, sorry) details the decline of high-end organic grocer Whole Foods.

So, what’s the deal? Is retail in decline? Or is it a certain slice of retail that’s in decline? The answers, it seems, are maybe and definitely.

Once again, the arrow points straight at the Millennials – people born since 1980 or so. They are becoming the dominant purchasing force in the economy – and they simply have less money to spend. Their money is going toward RENT, which is very high right now, and toward personal electronics.

The money they have left over is not going toward a $40 shirt at Kohl’s or Macy’s, or locally sourced/organic/free range/sustainable/expensive salmon at Whole Foods. They’re going to Walmart instead.

So, this might be troubling news for higher-end retailers, but maybe a good thing that the younger generation (which will soon be calling the shots) is getting smarter about spending? Maybe? I guess? What do YOU think? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

Dining Out Beats Dining In

die out dine inThat squeak you just heard is the dollar amount that we spend in restaurants annually squeaking past the dollars we spend on groceries. That’s right, Bloomberg reports that, for the first time, Americans spend more on dining out than cooking at home, something like $51 billion vs. $50 billion. Twenty years ago, it was 2-to-1, or $30B vs. $15B, home vs. restaurant.

Who is driving the change? One hint: it rhymes with Shmillennials. And the Why of it may sound familiar, as well. Millennials have a talent for turning everything into a social experience, and eating dinner is just one example. Social, as in gathering with friends, and Experience, as in having an admirable desire to try new things.

Meanwhile, the Baby Boomers are going in the opposite direction. 50-to-70 year olds report that, while spending is also up, it is more concentrated on Needs than Wants, necessities over frivolities or luxuries. Why? Because they watched their 401K’s get murdered in the last crisis, and they’re spooked.

How about you? Are you a Boomer, Gen X’er or Millennial? Have your spending habits changed regarding dining out vs. dining in? Why or why not? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!