The Soft-Savings Trend is Here! But first, let’s break it down because it’s piping hot tea into how Millennials and Gen Z really feel about their finances. The soft-savings trend is all about valuing your present quality of life over money. This means putting a little less emphasis on stashing away every penny for those futuristic goals like retirement, buying a house, or eliminating those looming debts. This approach has caught fire recently, and I can’t help but discuss it and answer the big Q: why now?
Rebounding from the Hustle Culture
But the results are starting to show, so let’s dive deeper. Many might say it’s a breath of fresh air from the intense hustle culture, the iconic girl-boss era, and the whole FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) movement. In the never-ending chase to be financially savvy, many have jumped into starting businesses, taken on side gigs, and chased every dollar, only to feel burned out. From the outside, it seemed like a no-brainer, but now, many are left wondering: was it really worth it?
The Ripple Effect on Latino and Minority Communities
You might be wondering how this affected the Latino and minority communities. To be honest, our women, now more than ever, face the pressure to live not only a rich life but one that’s also “soft” – a life that’s gentle, slow-paced, and prioritizes well-being. This aggressive hustle-hard mindset made many of us proud to see our bank accounts grow. But it also made a lot of us believe that simply making more money was the magic fix. Pero, let’s be real for a second, was it really? Often, it meant sidelining our family, ignoring our rich culture, forgetting personal hobbies, and sometimes, even overlooking our mental/physical well-being.
As a mom and business owner, I too felt the burn of making more money and seeing my kids struggle more in school, my health condition deteriorate, and my husband taking on more than he could handle. It’s not a win-win if everyone is struggling, even if our bank accounts are growing.
Redefining Standards and Aspirations
Our perception of what’s “enough” has drastically transformed. Those simple, intimate family gatherings? Now, they often have to be turned into lavish parties, or why even bother? What was once a luxury is now seen as a basic necessity. Domestic trips? They feel underrated unless they’re international escapades. We’ve sidelined anything affordable, elevating luxury to a necessity. It’s become a metric to judge each other’s discretionary income. I hate it here!
Retirement: The Unreachable Mirage?
Then there’s the elephant in the room: retirement. With many living paycheck to paycheck, why is retirement even the focal point? Not to sound conspiratorial, but financial advisors seem to be barking up the wrong tree. As the wealth shifts from boomers to millennials and Gen Z, these advisors seem more focused on ensuring that the money flows in their direction. But at what cost? Pushing retirement goals in this economy often feels like prioritizing financial objectives over human well-being. I’m not feeling it, and neither is everyone else.
Entertainment and Quality of Life: A Delicate Balance
We can blame it on entertainment or the evolving standards of living, but many are now opting for experiences that enhance their daily lives. From movies and pizza nights to that occasional fancy bottle of wine, these aren’t budget busters but lifestyle enhancers. However, it’s essential to differentiate between genuine life improvements and mere social media flexing. With the rise of platforms like TikTok, many of us are seeing past the glitz and glamour, acknowledging the underlying traumas our fellow Millennials and Gen Zers are coping with.
Addressing the Inflation and Income Disparity
It’s concerning when six-figure earners claim to live paycheck to paycheck. With rising inflation, credit card debts, and the overall cost of living, having more money doesn’t always seem like the solution. Sometimes, it seems to introduce more problems than it solves.
Finding Stability Threw the Storm
As we navigate these turbulent times, for my family, it’s crucial to focus on mental health, prioritize genuine needs over wants, and make informed financial decisions as a team. For instance, in my family, we conduct All-Hands meetings and reevaluate our retirement contributions. It’s time to hunker down, reassess our priorities, and ensure we survive the storm at the end of the day.