The millennial generation now stands at over 79.8 million people. In 2016, millennials surpassed the other generationsto become the largest living generation in the country. The growth spurt is not expected to cease either. In fact by 2036, the population is predicted to surpass 82.1 million young Americans. With that growth comes a redefining of American society norms and habits with more young Americans living at home with parents after college, pursuing continual education and looking to become more financially savvy much earlier.
In the United States, only 17 states offer personal finance courses as a part of the high school curriculum to prepare their students for college and the world of work.With increasing number of college students graduating with thousands in student debt, having some smart money management tips has become essential. Here are some great money management tips you need to know in yourmillennialage.
Start Retirement Planning In Your Twenties
It may seem a little odd to begin our retirement planning when you are just starting your career but it can have many benefits. The earlier you start, the better for your pocket. The national age of retirement in the United States of America is 66 years for those born in 1966. For those born in 1960 or later, their age of retirement starts at 67 years old. If you have you attended college or higher learning before graduating and joining the world of work, planning for your retirement from your first job gives you at least 40 years to save towards having that ideal retirement.
Being of the millennial era, you have the advantage of time on your side. With the help of smart investments, you can save much better for your retirement goals. Take a look at your workplace’s 401 k account where you set a fixed percentage of each paycheck to go towards your retirement contribution each month. It is simple and like setting up a direct debit for a savings account, requires minimal effort except for routine monitoring after initial setup. Investments in stocks and low cost mutual funds can alsohelp you to grow your retirement portfolio, based on the rate of growth. A general rule as a millennial is to aim for up to 70 percent of your retirement funds as investments in stocks or equities.
Use Credit Cards-Wisely
Credit cards are quickly gaining an undesirable reputation and many millennials are becoming more skeptical of their use. However, with proper research and wise use, credit cards can have ample benefits for your financial habits. They are great for building credit so if you are just out of college and have little or no credit history, it is one of the easiest ways to get started. Be careful though; keep track of your spending and try to keep your credit utilization under 30 percent. A great trick is to place all your monthly expenses on your credit card and pay it off each month. This way you make the best use of revolving credit by building your credit using purchases you know you are able to pay off each month.
Two out of every five millennials have credit card debt or student debt. If you are struggling to repay past debts,consider getting an interest free credit card. These cards offer zero percent interest for a promotional time including on balance transfers and can often come with rewards for their use. A key part of managing your credit card and other debts efficiently in your 20s lies in youbecoming adept at the art of budgeting. Its importance should never be underestimated. It lets you know where your money is going and where it shouldn’t be going.
Make Saving Automatic-From Your First Paycheck
This is a great tip to make a habit. Saving automatically every month reprograms your way of thinking. Before you know it, you wont even miss that money each month. It can be for any purpose whether it is towards an emergency fund or for paying off your debts. Research by iQuantifi and Middle Tennessee University showed that 41 percent of millennials had a goal of increasing their level of savings in the next 3-5 years. However, only 33 percent of the younger generationhad an emergency fund saved in 2015. As a result, over 62 percent of Americans were completely unprepared for a major life change such a medical events or job loss.
A great idea is to set up a direct debit monthly from your account for when your salary is due.Be aware that this requires some calculations. Budgeting and planning ahead can make things extremely easy and also helps you cut out unnecessary expenses. From that you should be able to draft a debt repayment/savings plan with clear goals in mind.
Finally, take the time to understand that sales and bargains do not have to always equate to a purchase. Many people purchase at clearance and bargain events thinking they have gotten an incredible bargain for their money. However, is it something you truly needed or planned to buy? If not, then that is essentially money you could have put towards a intended cause such as savings. It is then not a bargain but a splurge.