Millennials are probably the most misunderstood generation because of a lifestyle that delays many of the traditional moves associated with adulthood. One study said Millennials are not buying houses but are instead spending their money on Avocado toast – the legitimacy of such claims is debatable. However, one thing on which most people can agree is that Millennials need to start making smarter financial decisions.
Many millennials are yet to leave the nest and a large percentage of those that left home are still getting financial support from their parents. In fact, millennials more than other generations are not likely to have retirement savings.
This piece looks at four actions millennials can start taking to take charge of their finances:
1. Start cutting your expenses.
Your expenses play a big part in determining if you’ll be stressed out financially or not. If your expenses are more than your income, you are already heading into financial troubles because you’ll be augmenting the difference with your savings (if any) or debt. A good way to start cutting expenses is to write down all your expenses so that you can spot your spending patterns.
You can also shop around and act more responsibly to find way to trim off parts of your fixed expense. For instance, looking for auto insurance with a clean driving history will likely get you a lower premium than a driving history riddled with lots of DUIs. In addition, spending $200 each month out of a $2000 salary on alcohol or drugs is in poor taste because the highs with land you in financial lows.
2. Work towards reducing your debt burden.
A debt burden tends to drag people down financially because the money that should be saved towards a goal or invested to earn returns will be disappearing into the pockets of your creditors. Hence, if you are serious about taking charge of your finances, you’ll need to start taking proactive steps to cut your debt burden.
You may want to start by totaling out all your debts – student loans, credit card debts, auto loans, and financial obligations to other creditors. You should also consider automating your debt payments so that you don’t miss payments and attract unnecessary.
3. You can always justify a raise by working harder.
If you have a food time job already – that’s a good place to start increasing your monthly income. You can start working harder, clocking longer hours, and going above and beyond what is expected of you. You also keep track of your performance and send memos to your superiors after every stellar result on how their “support” and “mentorship” is helping you be a better worker.
Once you’ve built a consistent record of delivering decent results, don’t hesitate to enter action with boldness to negotiate aggressively for a raise or a promotion.
4. Everybody needs some help at different times.
There’s often a huge generational gap between millennials and their parents and many millennials would rather suffer in silence and reinforce the stereotype of the “helpless millennial”. However, the fact remains that everybody needs help at one point or the other and you should not hesitate to ask for help when you really need it.
Asking for help doesn’t always mean asking for a “loan” or asking your parents to foot your bills. You can ask for help in terms of advice, recommendations, and even a job in some instances. Your parents, friends, and financial advisors are a ready pool of support system waiting to be leveraged – all you need to do is to ask.