Most millennials are now in there 20s and 30s, beginning a career climb and also the time when you are making major financial decisions. These financial decisions can include home ownership, investment strategies, and family planning. Certainly, you want to try and avoid some of the financial hazards that have transpired in the lives of previous generations.
Financial literacy is seldom taught in school, so if you didn't learn it at home growing up, your first time in the "real world" may get you into some financial distress. Read below to learn some of the top financial tips that will help millennials make smart financial decisions.
Take online money management courses
Because most millennials excel at technology, I would suggest signing up for courses in basic economics, accounting and budgeting. These types of courses can be very affordable and very well delivered by the online professor. I feel this is a very efficient way to update yourself on financial topics that may simplify and improve your financial life.
Build up your retirement savings
Did you know that Wells Fargo revealed that almost 50% of millennials weren't planning for retirement? Make sure you participate in your employer's 401(k) plan, even if you can only afford to contribute the minimum every month.
Make a list of your whole financial picture
I recommend you make a list of everything that is spent each month. After you have digested this information, ask yourself this question. How am I going to pay for all of this? There are also four essential things everyone should know about their finances: income, expenses, assets and liabilities. Having a firm comprehension of these items will help you make sense of your finances. There are many online tools that can help you connect all your accounts - Mint, Quicken just to name a few. I believe this is your first step in improving your finances.
Research passive income opportunities
Most of us work for money all our lives and never really put it to work for us. It is possible to use your job income for passive income from your investments. For example, the IRS says passive income can come from two sources: rental property or a business in which you do not actively participate. Make no mistake; passive income is not about getting something for nothing. It involves a lot of work and is definitely not a "get rich quick" scheme.
Start a savings account
Open up a share account at your credit union even if you can't make regular deposits. You can use this account to put extra money aside for your short term and even long-term goals. This can also be used as your emergency fund. Shoot for 3-12 months of expenses, put aside for emergencies.
Pay yourself first
Once you have money in your hand from your paycheck, IRS refund, etc. always pay yourself first. Arrange for automatic transfers from your checking account directly to your share account every payday or on a monthly basis.
Do you know the impact of your credit score?
Everyone, but especially entrepreneurial millennials need to understand that their personal credit can be the defining factor in getting working capital in the future. Getting approved for a loan can be very challenging when your credit score is low. Learn how to read your credit report and check it frequently.
Reduce your debt faster
Pay off small debts first and gradually tackle the larger ones. This will allow you to see results and stay motivated.
Enlist the assistance of a trusted mentor
There is an overabundance of information online regarding financial literacy. However, picking the brain of someone you know and trust is better. Their insights are often tailor-made to your specific needs.
Remove extra costs
It is a proven fact that millennials have expensive habits ($5 lattes every day, eating out on a regular basis, designer fashions, etc.). Keep a close eye on your expenses and trim them where you can.
Raise your children to be financially savvy
At this point you may already have young children or planning to start a family. Teach them that saving money is essential. When they are old enough take them to your credit union and help them open up their own accounts. This will hopefully excite them to continue saving their own money.
I hope you use these financial tips to keep your finances on track while you are young. Remember, you have a very bright financial future ahead of you if you start now and stick with it!