By Alan Hunt
“60 percent of people feel stressed about money. 80 percent believe they could benefit from some professional advice,” said Donna Doleman Dickerson, Chief Marketing Officer of GreenPath Financial Wellness. “We provide financial and debt counseling by phone. We have helped people manage their money simply put, since 1961.”
As a generation, millennials are facing unique, systemic financial obstacles, including higher student loan debts, a tough job market, and more. This can leave them feeling overwhelmed. Almost two-thirds of millennials say they live paycheck to paycheck. Studies show that African American millennials consistently report significantly greater economic vulnerability than whites and Asian Americans. As a result, many are delaying traditional adulthood milestones, including homeownership. The reality is that for many millennials, the American Dream feels out of reach.
GreenPath has partnered with the Michigan Chronicle for a six-installment series designed to help millennials become better stewards of their finances. The series is called Millennial Money. Millennial Money will kick-off with a virtual Facebook Live discussion. The first installment will run in the Michigan Chronicle paper and online at MichiganChronicle.com in January 2021.
“Being able to make healthy financial choices is about having good information at your fingertips, and I would say that teaming with the [Michigan] Chronicle, it’s really our goal to get the right information to help readers make the best decisions about their future,” said.
GreenPath Financial Wellness provides free one on one financial advising with certified counselors. Headquartered in Michigan, the national nonprofit offers credit card debt counseling, debt management plans, student loan counseling, housing counseling, foreclosure mitigation, and debt management counseling across 22 states. Millennial Money intends to give a younger audience a head start on a better fiscal future, Dickerson said,
“If you think about the life stages of people 22-38, they might be hitting some key milestones like establishing their careers, in school, a recent graduate, trying to build credit, starting a family, looking to buy a home, or even proactively planning for retirement. No matter the stage they are navigating, figuring out finances is a key way millennials can be successful.”
Dickerson suggests figuring out finances by keeping track of credit card spending and setting up a spending plan for monthly bills.
The pandemic has created economic hardship across the country. GreenPath has helped many clients face challenges like navigating mortgage payments, credit card debt, or prioritizing what to pay after losing income.
“People are just overwhelmed, and given these external dynamics, the Millennial Money series is designed to help people with what’s happening right now…Now is the perfect time for people to get a solid footing on managing their financial health. We want to be a resource, and we want to be able to also highlight real stories of how people have managed throughout this crisis,” said Dickerson.
By the conclusion of the series, GreenPath hopes millennials learn that time, patience, and focus are essential for improved money management.
“No matter what the situation is, whatever goals people are trying to achieve, they are not going to happen overnight. Having a trusted resource, advice, or action plan with tried and true strategies can propel people toward that smooth road,” said Dickerson. “By the end of the series, our goal is to share options that can help millennials build up their financial health and wellness to set them up for success as they move through key life milestones.
GreenPath intends for the Millennial Money Series to resemble more of a dialogue than a lecture approach. They are seeking to produce content readers can easily apply.
“We want to hear from people. We want to understand what they are facing. We want to be able to craft learning tools to meet the needs of the readers. We thrive on two-way conversations.”
Until the series officially kicks off, millennials can practice improving their financial wellness now. Checking credit history is a significant first step to getting in better shape.
“When it comes to good financial habits, the phrase that comes to mind is know your numbers,” said Dickerson. “You’ve probably heard that when referring to physical health, like knowing your cholesterol and blood pressure, but it’s no different when you’re referring to financial health. Know your numbers is about understanding the interest rates you are paying on credit cards, interest rates you are paying on loans, and taking time to pull your credit report.”
Visit MichiganChronicle.com/MillennialMoney to receive the Millennial Money digest and stay up to date on the series.
Learn more about GreenPath by visiting https://www.greenpath.com/.