Florida might be one of 2019's most sinful states and the #1 state for single people -- but it's also home to the 7th highest number of depressed Millennials.
It’s a “hard knock life” for many Millennials. Between being criticized for excessive amounts of time spent on social media to 66 percent of us having nothing saved for retirement, finding success as a young professional can be difficult. And let's not forget having to endure the old, run-down avocado toast joke. Now, add to the conversation the fact that the state you live in plays a role a your success, too.
If you live in Florida, brace yourself because the Sunshine State ranks no. 7 for the amount of Millennials with depression. But why?
Difficult job market to start a lasting career
Most of us have invested countless dollars into getting college degrees, but we’re still behind where our parents were financially at our age. How do we catch up? Side hustles.
We can make extra money doing just about anything, including simply walking. From driving gigs like Uber and Postmates to writing projects on Upwork, there are a lot of opportunities to make money on the side.
Second jobs are nothing new, of course, but they’re on the rise, especially among young professionals. And that’s because 61% of Millennials believe they could find more job security by owning their own business instead of working for someone else.
“Side hustles are great not only for extra income but to discover if your passions are something you could see yourself taking on full-time,” said 25-year-old Dominique Jean-Jacques, a Boynton Beach Integrated Communications Specialist who does marketing and graphic design as a side hustle.
Social media marketing is a good way for young professionals to supplement their income, but according to Forbes, there are plenty of other options:
Fudget: Budget Planner Tracker -- 4.8 stars
Mint: Personal Finance & Money -- 4.7 stars
Clarity Money -- Budget Manager -- 4.7 stars
Acorn: Investment Spare Change -- 4.7 stars
EveryDollar Easy Budgeting app -- 4.7 stars
Side hustles are great because they offer a gateway from the daily grind as well as a glimpse into entrepreneurship and managing a business.
Around 66 percent of Millennials want to start their own business, but only 0.22% of Millennials start new businesses in any given month, compared to 0.37% of baby boomers.
The good news is that Millennials are able to take advantage of readily available technology more than previous generations, which makes a side job more possible.
“The [side hustle] numbers right now are trending — one in four Millennials has at least a second job,” said Kaytie Zimmerman, a contributing writer to Forbes magazine in reference to a Bankrate study.
And it’s a good thing we’re racking up extra money because we may be in trouble when it’s time to retire.
The solution: We can use the technology we’ve invented to work for us -- not just for seeing what we will look like as elderly people, but financially.
There are financial apps out there that can help you save money, build a budget and manage income. And if we have to use our phones daily anyway, it’s not a hassle to download a handy budgeting app. It’s quick, easy -- and might just help us save up for that vacation we’ve been thinking about.
Whether you own an iPhone or you’re Team Android, you can download these helpful apps:
Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program
Florida Bar Foundation Loan Repayment Assistance Program
Public Service Loan Forgiveness program
National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program (NHSC LRP)
Income-driven repayment plans
And we need all the help we can get.
We are the creators of game-changing lifestyle tools like social media platforms and transportation apps like Uber, but we’re also a generation plagued with student loan debt and unsteady job and housing markets.
Debt is piling up
The average Floridian owes $36,706 in student loan debt in 2019 -- an 8.5% increase from last year, according to estimates by Experian, a credit rating agency.
Gainesville -- home to the beloved gators -- made the top 5 list of U.S. metro areas that has the highest student loan debt with an average of $44,508 per student, Experian says. This is bad news considering the average full-time working woman made $39,000 in 2017, according to an analysis from Pew Research Center based on census data.
Even with available assistance programs, more than half of recent graduates have doubts and are worried about having to work extra jobs to repay student loans, a Discover Student Loans survey reported. And many people are just downright anxious about their pockets.
Ready for the good news?
The last of Millennials -- soon to be America’s largest living adult generation -- graduated college in 2019, and even though there’s a lot of uncertainty post-graduation, Florida offers several loan forgiveness programs.
The Sunshine State, like other states, offers opportunities to cancel, discharge or set up income-driven payment options for your student loans, such as
Remember: There are financial resources to help and you don’t have to suffer in silence. If you ever become overwhelmed financially, don’t let it lead to depression. Dial 2-1-1 for immediate assistance if you’re feeling suicidal or speak to a trusted health professional.