If you’re a millennial who just landed your first real job, first of all, congratulations! You’re probably excited about your first paycheck, and the next paycheck, and every paycheck after it. You may already have a long list of things to buy. From the iPhone 8 to the new ABH Aurora palette, it’s super easy to get distracted from saving money. Additionally, the pressure to be “in” is really epidemic to millennials, especially now that our whole lives are basically streamed over Instagram. Although our generation is more educated than any generation before us, we’re still confronted with bigger problems like economic indecision, job insecurity, and student debt. That’s the very reason why we need to learn to manage our finances as early as possible.
According to statistics, 62 percent of millennials under 30 say they are experiencing “some” financial stress, and another 15 percent say that they are facing a high level of financial stress. Additionally, only 20% of millennials think that they can retire at the age of 65, which means that they don’t feel financially stable enough to prepare for that. Think about it this way: 4 out of 5 millennials don’t think they’ll be able to retire by 65, and 7 out of 10 are under moderate to severe financial stress.
But there are ways to manage your finances and not stress out so much at the same time. Here are 10 tips to do that!
1. Place Your Money Somewhere Where It Will Grow On Its Own
Old adage states that money is a bad leader, but a good follower. It’s a great mantra for those who want to save. Don’t work too much for your money. Let your money work for you. You can do that by putting your dough somewhere you can earn passive income on. Some put their money in banks, but while it is important to have money that you can get quickly for emergency purposes, your money won’t grow there. Instead, the value will just diminish from inflation. Try investing your extra money elsewhere, like UITF, government bonds, and the stock market.
2. Live a Frugal Lifestyle
Not trying to call anyone out or anything, but whether you’re conscious of it or not, there’s definitely pressure among millennials to live an expensive lifestyle. This may be influenced by your environment or home upbringing. Remember that there’s a lot of time for you to live the extravagant life that you want, but right now is the time to be financially stable so you can have the life you want in the future without debt. Living a frugal lifestyle isn’t so bad after all; there’s even news that millennials are home longer and are more frugal than Gen X. We see that the trend towards wiser and frugal financial decisions are on the rise and that’s a good trend to follow!
3. Ponder Your Priorities
Prioritize your interests. Think about what you really want. For instance, if you love to go places and travel, spend your money on a trip. Even if upgrading something you already have is the same price as your next journey, spending your money on the things you love will eventually be more valuable than the iPhone 8 coming out next week.
4. Don’t Hop The Bandwagon
If everyone is buying new stuff and traveling everywhere, you’ll probably find it difficult not to do the same. However, you’re in a different situation and have different priorities. Right now, you should really be determined to save money because it is really easy to spend money. Discipline is necessary. It may be hard at first, but it will bear fruitful results at the end.
5. Use 50-30-20 Plan
In saving, a good principle is allotting an exact amount to save monthly rather than saving what’s left after expenses. An effective way to do this is a 50-30-20 method. 50 percent of your salary or income should go to your daily expenses and needs, 30 percent will be for yourself and your interests, and the other 20 percent is saved for your future.
[RELATED: Why Millennials Are Better With Money]
6. Establish an Emergency Fund
Since you are still young, you’re probably still healthy and fit. In other words, you’re probably not thinking about alternative reserves for your health and other related emergency incidents. But today is the best time to set aside a portion of your income to have an emergency fund so when there is a sudden and unexpected need, you have something to spend.
7. Track Your Credit Score
Some may say a good credit score is the spice of life (sorta). Keeping a good credit score can help maximize your finances when there’s an urgent situation and your emergency fund isn’t enough. You can keep a healthy score by paying your bills on time, not maxing out all your credit cards (or at least paying them back on time), and keeping your old credit cards open. There are tools online that you can use to monitor your credit score (sometimes for free!).
8. Run Your Finances Like You Run Your Social Life
We know you have some form of social media. You may even have a separate email for it (like a junk email you use to register for websites so your regular inbox isn’t flooded with notifications from Facebook). To stay organized on your finances, the same should be done. Make a separate email and calendar for your finances. This way you can avoid missing payments and find financial deadlines more conveniently.
9. Understand Your Taxes
They say there are only two things you can’t escape: death and taxes. Since there are no ways to escape taxes, it’s best to understand it. This may be the least fun thing you ever do, but the more you comprehend what you pay, the better you’ll be able to take full advantage of it. You don’t have to know everything about your taxes, but you should at least know the basics of it so you don’t have a problem with it in the future.
10. Start Saving For Long-Term Goals
As a millennial who is just starting to earn your own money, you might be easily blinded by short term goals and extravagant things. But if you want financial success, you should start thinking about your long-term plans. Even if the things you’re buying are small (like the XL size passion fruit green tea with double boba at a promotional price of only $4.99 at your local 85° C), the expenses add up after awhile. Make a list of the things you really want to do in the future (like, way far in the future). Think about settling down and having your own house and car. Traveling around the world in the future. Or starting your own business so you can retire early. Reflect on it when you’re tempted to spend money on things you don’t need.
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