trains, planes and automobiles

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

What do you think of when you hear the word “train” in a transportation sense? Maybe you think of the metro, subway or Amtrak, but hardly ever does our generation (Millennials) think of the proper term of train. Train, n:a series of railroad cars moved as a unit by a locomotive or by integral motors. I have something new to hit you with when you think of trains, Millennial Trains Project. This is a new initiative that  aims to turn the journey into a mechanism for learning and social change.

Background: A part of the journey the train will visit 7 cities over the course 10 days–that’s a lot of ground to be covering especially when your mode of transportation is a train. The itinerary includes Seattle, Detroit and Cleveland. In each destination, passengers will have 5-6 hours to work on their projects. In between stops, the group will participate in workshops and mentoring sessions to help build on their ideas. I am not entirely sure what happened once the projects are completed and if there is any follow up, that would be interesting to look into.

The real benefit to programs like these might not be the actual projects they spawn, but the people they educate and shape. It’s really interesting stuff, follow the Train’s journey live and learn more about the inspiring entrepreneurs on board.

social media & finances

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

A few years ago I interned for a non-profit, Mobilize.org. They believe in order to create long-term, sustainable and community based solutions to the challenges facing our generation, Millennials (young adults born between the years 1976 and 1996) must authentically engage their peers in identifying problems, proposing solutions, and most importantly, must work together to implement these solutions on their campuses and in their communities. While interning for them, I had awesome opportunities; one of them being to attend an event an write a blog about it. My boss sent me to an event at AARP, it was about finances and different age groups. Take a read and let me know what you think. a few years ago I would have been heart-set on saying it was taboo to talk about money and finances among my generation, Millennials. But now I am torn. I am starting to see a divide, because we are now understanding how important fiances are.

using social media to save money

Millennials (like myself) want to talk about everything, everywhere and especially on social media. But what I’ve realized is that one thing we don’t talk about is money. However with the financial issues facing us and the country, and with the accessibility to others via social media, we should be having constant conversation on finance that would help break down barriers on what is often too taboo, even for Twitter.

Lifetuner and AARP hosted an event Thursday during Digital Capital Week to discuss how members of all generations use social media to talk about or finances. Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool was the event moderator and the three panelists were: MP Dunleavey of Daily Worth, Melora Heavey of Feed The Pig and Kelly Whalen of The Centsible Life.

The panelists talked about how social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and blogs can impact our finances on a personal level and change the way we handle our money. We are in a world where we integrate social media in every aspect of our lives, so why not use it to help our pocketbooks? In November of 2009 Budgets are Sexy surveyed and found that 57% of young Americas consider their financial situation the biggest concern in their lives. So, how can we use social media to become more aware of our finances, from balancing a checkbook to applying for a Roth IRA or even as simple as making a budget? The answer…use it!

To bring more awareness to financial issues and to start online dialogues, we need to display concerns places where everyone is talking. For instance according to newser.com there are 600 tweets every second, totaling 50 million tweets a day, with a whopping 6 million registered users it makes sense to use social media.

Of course you’re thinking why use social media when that’s my time to relax, right? You’re saying to yourself, “that’s my outlet for de-stressing.” Well, it still can be your source for relief. Believe it or not, social media can help you save money and avoid debt – the ultimate de-stresser!

Twitter is also a great resource for savings, it serves as a customer service portal for companies and as they often post deals or coupons. You can also follow people who talk about money like @APPersonalFin, who tweets about summer fares lowering. Or you can use  Twitdom that has different applications for finance pages you can follow on Twitter like: Mint, My Mile Marker, Twinancial,TopStockTweets and Stoockr . By adding these applications to social media networks, it becomes easier to exchange ideas with more people and you can personally track your spending behavior.

Blippy.com also tracks spending behaviors, and by seeing what and how much spending you do can help you get a perspective on how much you spend and will ultimately help you get your money habits under control. Then you can use your online banking system to set up your budget.  When your target monthly spending is approaching, you’ll receive a text or an e-mail alert indicating how much money you have left for the month.

Getting information from blogs is also very helpful, though bloggers may not be experts in the field, they often share where items can be bought for lower prices – never a bad thing.

Since the Millennial Generation is active in social media but aren’t that enthused about discussing their finances, reaching them is a task in itself. If you’re writing an article to reach Millennials, remember the article should be quick, eye catching and vibrant. Use videos and bullet points and ask for instant feedback that will tell you if your message direct and captivating.

And to my fellow Millennials: let us be the generation that wants to be educated on our finances. Let us be the generation that no longer makes it taboo to talk about our money problems, because once we start seeing how many of us are dealing with the same issues, together we can start developing solutions.