Reading finance articles, it seems that the millennial generation faces more challenges in the financial security department compared to those who came before them. They’re crippled with the debt of an expensive college education and enter a highly competitive job market.

Despite all these though, a specific segment of the generation to be generally happier and more satisfied with their life than their contemporaries. And the difference all boils down to them using ‘proactive financial strategies’.


The study gathered data from the participants when they freshmen, seniors and then two later after college

This positive finding was the result of a study done by the University of Arizona in which researchers pooled some 968 millennials to collect data detailing their thoughts on various finance topics through college and after graduating.

The participants were particularly asked questions on materialism, their budgeting habits as well as pro-environmental habits. The last topic was reportedly chosen by the researchers because of their desire to find out more about students’ ways of coping with limited resources.

They were also asked about their self-evaluation of their mental health, specifically how they’d assess their personal well-being and how satisfied they were regarding their lives.


Getting to set aside money for the bad days gives people peace of mind, Helm says

According to the study’s lead author Sabrina Helm, they discovered that those participants who said they consume and buy less also showed fewer symptoms of depression. Meanwhile, those who saved money report feeling better overall and weren’t as distressed psychologically.

The results seem to point that having better financial management skills made people happier. And in turn, these same proactive financial strategies led to the improvement of people’s satisfaction with their finances. Helm believes that these findings are significant, especially for students as they typically experience challenges involving money.


The fashion industry is reportedly one of the biggest industries contributing to the world’s pollution

Meanwhile, the study also showed how the students whose decision to consume less was due to concern for the environment ended up happier than those who just opted for ‘green’ products. As Helm points out, buying less could have positive impacts on one’s mental health despite society’s tendency to see products as solutions or as a means to cope with whatever problem people are facing in life.

She then recommended people to take a step away from the ‘consumerist approach’ in order to be more satisfied and happy. One tip Helm has is to keep a purchase diary where one can monitor one’s habits or stick to a shopping list to refrain from impulsively buying things they don’t really need.

This scaling back from spending does not only benefit millennials though. Other adults who were less materialistic were found to be happier as well by a different study.

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