THE SANDWICHED GENERATION
At the age of 4–5 years old, you may have often wondered why your 2 bedroomed house was always full. You accommodated quite a number of relatives, from your maternal home was your mother's younger sister and from your paternal home was your father's brother, sister, and her two children. Your home was always looking like a military camp, this also meant that your many relatives had to be fed by mother and father Theresa (your parents).
As an adult with a family of your own, you continue to toil hard but still, responsibilities keep overwhelming you. You keep working hard, getting promotion after promotion and your income keeps increasing but there is nothing to show for it. You later realize that the problem is the other expenses that come with your immediate, extended, and nuclear family.
Generation Y (the post-1994 demographic generation) also known as the sandwiched generation, who are effectively ‘sandwiched’ by financial support obligations to their parents on one side and their children on the other side.
Playing back the home scenario , we find that parents face a cultural notion obliging successful family members bear a financial obligation to take care of the generation from above (their aging parents) and the generation from below (their children).
So what are the financial implications of being ‘sandwiched’ ?
- It is hard to self prioritize when your family depends on you. The financial decisions you make prioritizes them. This makes it harder to create long term wealth with the income you generate.
- Limited money to save or invest. This entirely affects your ability to create wealth
- Due to limited saving and investing, you face the risk of being dependent as you retire and age. This may sentence your offspring to be the next sandwich generation so they can cater for your needs.
So what is the suggested solution for this predicament? It all boils down to choices we make. We can choose to spend our money wisely. To choose that, we need to be intentional and responsible for our finances. Becoming Financially literate can be that spark that lights the fire.
Financially Fit Africa, offers tips on diverse personal finance issues and instills principles of personal wealth creation. This will help you acquire knowledge on fundamental money management disciplines and become a member of the generation that changes your family’s financial status quo.