Dec 19, 2017

Millennial Parents Are Facing Financial Stress & Here's How You Can Help Them

The young parents in your church are Millennials.  And many of them are facing financial stress.

A recent survey reveals that 41% of Millennial parents rate their financial status as unhealthy.

40% say financial stress is putting a strain on their relationship with their spouse.

46% say financial concerns are keeping them from having another child.

They have 300% more student debt than their Gen X and Baby Boomer parents.

The price tag of raising a child is more than $304,000 based on the projected inflation-adjusted cost of rearing a child until age 18, not counting college.

They are 50% less likely to own a home than young couples their age in 1975.

20% are spending between 50-59% of their income on housing.  8% are paying 60-74%. 

1 in 5 are living in poverty.

36% say someone in their household has received external help from other family members, friends or social service providers.

Many rely upon grandparents for financial help.  A survey by TD Ameritrade shows that on average, each millennial parent with a living parent receives approximately $11,011 per year in combined financial support and unpaid labor from their parents.

Most won't be able to retire until they are 75 years old.

As ministry leaders, how can we help these young parents?  Let's look at a few ways. 

Provide financial advice.  Many young parents don't know how to manage their money well.  You can help by offering programs and classes like Financial Peace University.  Take the initiative and approach the adult ministries in your church about partnering with you in this endeavor.

Encourage them to develop a financial plan.  Dave Ramsey says "A budget is telling your money where to go rather than wondering where it went."  Help young parents develop a financial plan that will help them pay off their loans and other debt.

Be sensitive to the needs of single parents.  Millennial parents who are single are having an even more difficult time.  Look for ways you can help them.  It might be helping with gifts for their children at Christmas.  It might be giving them a turkey at Thanksgiving.  It might be watching their kids during a job interview.  It might be providing clothes for their children.  It might be having diapers in your nursery so they don't have to use the ones they brought.  Every little bit of help can make a difference.

Help parents see that their kids want to spend time with them more than they want things from them.  As parents, we all want to give our kids "stuff."  But the temptation is to spend money on them that we don't have or try to keep up with what others are doing...even when we can't afford it.  Parents feel the pressure to make sure their kids are wearing the expensive tennis shoes, have the leading name brands and latest technology, game systems, cell phones, tablets, etc.

Help parents see that more than anything, their kids want to be with them.  They would rather have shoes that cost less and have you at home than more expensive shoes, but not see you because you are having to work overtime to pay for it. 

Teach them the benefits and blessings of giving.  When you are struggling financially, it can be a big step of faith to tithe and give to special offerings.  Many times on paper, it may not even make sense.  But we know that God has promised to meet our needs when we trust Him and put Him first with our finances.  Share with Millennial parents what God's Word says about giving and encourage them to put God to the test, just as He has asked us to do.

Your turn.  The floor is yours.  How are you helping young parents manage and deal with the financial pressures they are facing?  Share your thoughts, ideas and insight in the comment section below.

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