We’ve made it over the mid-year mark and that typically inspires ambitious millennials to actually fulfill those failed New Year’s resolutions and rid their lives of bad habits. But a lot of us need that extra push to get our priorities in check in important areas, specifically financial. Are you striving towards your fiscal goals?
Here are few ways to make sure you’re on track to achieving more financial freedom this year:
1. Make a dollar out of 15 cents.
Clearly Tupac was onto something when he rapped that making a dollar out of fifteen cents in hard, but in an economy with more than half of its millennials carrying an average of $48,000 in debt, it’s necessary. According to a 2015 Millennial Money Mindset Report, led by iQuantifi in partnership with Middle Tennessee State University, our top life goal is to attain a debt-free lifestyle. The best way to try to obtain one is frugality.
This sounds like common sense but living below your means is the key to kissing your financial constraints goodbye for good. For instance, before purchases, try to utilize coupon and discount apps like RetailMeNot or Retale to shave few bucks off your goods.
2. Have a backup plan for your backup plan.
Failing to be financially proactive can cause major problems that could take years to solve. Most money experts stress the importance of having contingency plans at the ready for unforeseeable setbacks. For example, John Salter, associate professor of financial planning at Texas Tech University said that millennials should take extra steps to secure their financial future by taking actionable steps NOW. For those who are beginners to investing, be sure to check out Investopedia’s easy guide to investments for beginners to get started.
“Young people who don’t invest in equities early are set to have a lot less money later on,” he said. “They won’t benefit from those extra years of letting their portfolio grow, eventually earning the ‘interest on interest’ that generates real wealth,” adding that “it’s just the simple value of compounding.”
3. Evaluate if you’re getting paid what you’re worth.
Working your current 9-5 probably may pay your bills just fine for now, but if you don’t see yourself paying off your debt while working at your current company (even with a promotion) in the next few years, you might want to look at updating your resume and taking some interviews.
Although we’re young, we shouldn’t feel comfortable wasting time at jobs that aren’t both financially and professionally fulfilling. With 57% of millennials surveyed in a 2015 Millennial Money Mindset Report stating their biggest financial challenge is not making enough money, it’s high time to check yourself and take measures to ensure that saving money isn’t optional.
4. Make sure you’re saving without thinking even about it.
If traditional bank savings accounts aren’t your forte, turn to your smartphone for stashing cash on your behalf. Apps like Acorns and Digit link to your checking account, assesses your spending habits and withdraws the appropriate amount of money without you even noticing its absence.