Millennials, more than any other generation, have an unfair reputation for being bad with money, mostly through no fault of our own. While many of us struggle to get our financial lives on track, it can be done. With a little planning and discipline, you can make your finances better than ever before!
Create a Budget
You need to list all your monthly expenses and track them somehow. The easiest way is probably with an app or spreadsheet, but you could also use pen and paper or even just keep a running mental tally in your head (if that works for you). It doesn’t matter how fancy or complicated the tracking system is; what matters is that it helps get your spending habits under control.
Remember: there’s no such thing as perfect financial planning—it only takes one unexpected expense to throw everything off! You’ll never be able to keep track perfectly, so don’t worry about trying for perfection. Instead, focus on tracking what matters most right now: gross income, recurring expenses like rent/mortgage payments and utility bills (gas and electricity), food costs (groceries), etc., while ignoring things like gifts or entertainment until later on when they become more important.
Build better money habits.
Build better money habits, whether that is monitoring your credit score or keeping on top of your payments, for example, through Car Refinance, rent, or mortgages. There is a lot you can do to build better habits. Such as:
Build a budget. This is the first step in creating a successful financial plan that puts you in charge of your money instead of having your money control you.
Create an emergency fund. You’ll need at least three months’ worth of living expenses in an accessible account that you can quickly access if something goes wrong—like losing your job or getting hit with medical bills from an accident out of state or one caused by someone else.
Start paying down debt now! It’s never too early to start paying off debt; just be sure to pay more than the minimum payment amount on all debts except for your mortgage or student loans.
Set up automatic transfers using direct deposit so it feels like another bill coming out every month without much effort on your part. This will help you avoid spending more than what’s available when those funds arrive electronically rather than having cash on hand, which tends to lead us into temptation.
Pay Off High-Interest Debt
Paying off your high-interest debt first is a great way to save money. High-interest debt has a higher interest rate than other types of loans, so it’s more expensive to pay back. Paying off this type of debt can also help you avoid getting into even more debt down the road if you can get loans at lower rates.
Here’s an example: You have a credit card with $10,000 in debt that charges 15% interest and another credit card with $5,000 in debt which charges 18%. If you pay only the minimum payment on both cards each month and continue doing so for one year, you’ll owe $11,914 when all is said and done—but if, instead, you just paid off the highest interest rate bill first (the one with 17% APR), after one year that same balance would be reduced by more than half—to only $5,876!
Be realistic about how much you can save.
Make sure you’re realistic about your ability to save money. Don’t think that you can save all of your income. That’s not going to happen—it’s probably impossible for most people, and even if you manage it for a few months, it’s likely that you’ll be tempted by something and have to spend more than expected in order to get it.
Don’t think that saving will be easy if you’re still in debt or have high-cost lifestyle expenses like eating out. If you feel like these tips are too restrictive for what your financial situation requires, then ask yourself: Is this goal worth having? Sometimes the answer may be yes; other times, not so much.
Contribute to a Retirement Account
One of the most important things a millennial can do to get their financial life in order contributes to a retirement account. There are many different kinds of retirement accounts, and it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into before committing. When choosing a retirement account, there are several factors that should be taken into consideration:
- The tax benefits at play in your situation.
- Whether or not the investment options are limited (and if so, how limited they might be).
- How easy it is for you to make contributions from your paycheck regularly (or whether there’s an option to set up automatic payments).
What you should do when choosing a retirement account is consulted with someone who knows about these things—a CPA or financial advisor will be able to help figure out which type of plan would work best for your needs and goals. Once this has been determined, then it’s time for action.
Make sure that you’re consistently contributing as much money as possible every month; if necessary, set up automatic deposits so this becomes easier on yourself while still ensuring that each paycheck gets deposited where it needs to go without fail. You’ll also want to ensure that any tax breaks offered by this investment opportunity aren’t wasted by failing (or forgetting) about them—if there are any deadlines associated with claiming these benefits!
Learn to Save
Save for a rainy day. This is the first rule of saving that you should know. It’s also one of the most important things you can do to ensure that you have money in your pocket when something goes wrong, like when your car breaks down or when there’s an unexpected medical bill. If nothing else, save at least $100 per month so that if something bad happens and you need to take care of it right away, you’ll have enough money on hand to cover it without being forced to take out a loan or apply for credit card debt.
Use Credit Cards Wisely
Credit cards are a useful financial tool. They can help you build a credit history, which is important for getting loans and insurance in the future. Having a good credit score will also make it easier to get low-interest rates on loans, mortgages, and other types of debt. Credit cards can also be used to track your spending, so you know where all your money goes each month.
Plus, if you have good credit card habits, such as paying the balance in full each month and not carrying a balance, you’ll earn rewards like cash back or airline miles that can save you even more money. In short: use credit cards wisely!
Understand Your Income Tax Liability
You should know about income tax is that it’s something you don’t have to pay if you don’t want to. The second thing is that it’s calculated by the government, not by you.
So how does this work? Income tax is a percentage of your income, and the amount of tax owed depends on several factors: your annual salary (or other forms of compensation), what state or country you live in, and whether or not some parts of your salary are already taxed at a higher rate than others (like Social Security).
To find out your income tax liability for 2022, use an online calculator like this one provided by TurboTax—just plug in some basic information like annual salary and number of dependents (if any), so they can calculate that percentage based on those numbers alone!
If all goes well here, then great; but if there’s anything unusual about their results, then now would probably be a good time to consult an accountant specializing in taxes before proceeding further down this path. You wouldn’t want any discrepancies between reality vs. expectation later down the line!
Millennials can do a few things to get their financial lives on track. One of the most important things is to start saving for retirement as early as possible. This means starting with a 401(k) or an IRA at work and also opening up a Roth IRA account so that you can put money away for your future without paying taxes on it now.
Another thing that Millennials need to do is avoid taking out loans from their credit cards or other sources. Taking on debt when you don’t need it can damage your long-term goals, especially if those debts aren’t paid off quickly enough before interest rates go up! It’s also important not to be too rigid when managing finances because there are always unexpected expenses like bills that come up every month, whether we plan them out or not.