The secret to finance? Pay attention. Seriously, that seems to pretty much cover it if you’re willing to act according to your observations. For instance, take this article I just stumbled across. If millennials are just willing to pay attention (and adhere) to their budget, they will put away enough money to become a millionaire on retirement. For more information, please proceed to aforementioned article.
American spending habits are being increasingly questioned as the saving rates of many citizens continue to plummet. In fact, the St. Louis Federal Reserve releases data every month on personal household savings rates. In 7/2016, the savings was a measly 5.7%. To put that into perspective, the rate just 50 years ago was literally double that.
Just as well, the vast majority of other industrialized nations have a higher personal savings rate than the United States of America. Considering the standard quality of life in America is significantly higher than many other developed nations, there is a clear disconnect between how much Americans are making and how much they’re spending. In this vein, it has come to light that although Americans should be saving between 10 and 15% of their annual income as a rule of thumb, an astounding 7/10 Americans have less than $1,000 in savings.
This sort of savings illiteracy is only becoming more pervasive and more impactful. Thus, we need to take a stand and reverse the trend. In order to do so, here are several helpful hints for living a financially responsible life:
Use the internet for budgeting—throw paper to the wind:
In recent years, the technological boom has molded nearly aspect of society, budgeting tools included. There is an abundance of free online tools men and women can use to plan their budgets, see where they can save, and form an easy-to-adhere-to savings plan. Generally, it comes up with a dollar figure based on the dollar amount you earn or the percentage of earned income you want to put away. In just a half hour, you could have the financial plan that will bring stability back into to your life.
Associate with other fiscally responsible individuals.
Jim Rohn said we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, and our finances are certainly not excluded from this broad but accurate analysis. If your friends and family are also trying to put away money and are also invested in their own fiscal well-being, then you, by extension, will be more likely to save successfully.
To this end, if you live alone, I suggest meeting up with a group of others who are striving to save some cash. This way your goal becomes more attainable and you are able to witness others gain the budgetary discipline you want, which makes it more realistic, and thus, more achievable.
S.M.A.R.T. stands for:
Saving money is difficult, and it’s nearly impossible without having the proper goals in purpose. They need to be objective so you can hold yourself accountable, and the only way your budgeting goals can be objective is if they’re quantified and adhere to the above parameters.
Remember—the only person who suffers from a lack of savings is you. Take care of your future self the way you deserve.
Student loans continue to be a financial burden for most millennials. It can be extremely frustrating and overwhelming to manage your loans right away, especially after graduation. According to Mark Kantrowitz, a publisher and vice president of strategy for Cappex.com, the average student debt for 2016 graduates is a record $37,173, up 6.05% from last year’s level. This is definitely not something millennials want to hear. Let’s take a look at three ways you can expedite the process and get you debt free.
It might be best for you to start looking for a part-time job while you are in college. It can benefit you in multiple ways. First, you will be able to put aside some money each month that will help decrease your compiling debt. Having a part-time job will also allow you to gain some valuable working experience that will benefit you in the future. According to Clayton Shearer, a wealth manager at A&I Financial Services in Englewood, Colorado,
“if a student can put away $1,000 a month, that’s $12,000 (a year) less in student loans and not having to take that money out in loans — a big savings”
Now, how can you disagree with him? Get started now on looking for a job!
When you graduate college and get your first full-time job, you’ll finally start seeing consistent income. This influx of cash may certainly be enough to lead to you spending money on unnecessary things. It may be in your best interest, in the beginning, to cut down on some expensive items and put that money towards your student loans. It is absolutely a sacrifice, but it’s better to do it sooner rather than later. (Especially when “later” entails the accumulation of even more unnecessary debt.) Trust me, you will be thanking yourself later.
I definitely recommend you developing a plan (budget) after you graduate college. It can be a great way to put things in order and keep you organized. This plan should allow you to understand what you should and shouldn’t spend money on, in order for you to cut down on your debt. Budgeting apps, which I wrote about in my recent blog post can be a good way to help you get started in the right direction.
Summer is a great time for college students to wind down after a long school year of studying and writing papers. You can spend time with friends, hit up the beaches and go on vacations. The time off is also important for students to make some extra cash before they head back to school in August. The following are three awesome summer jobs that college students should consider to make their summer vacations not only enjoyable, but productive as well.
Taking an internship (in any industry) is great for two reasons. One, you can develop an entire skillset that you would not have obtained otherwise. Two, you may be able to get your foot in the door with a potential employer after your graduate. Even if the internship doesn’t lead to full-time employment down the road, the work experience will still look great on your resume. While interning you should look to build solid relationships with your employers and colleagues, as they will be great additions to your professional network. This can be very beneficial for you in the future. From my perspective, I recommend completing an internship for at least one summer while you are in college. It can give you a leg up against your competition when your start applying for jobs post-graduation.
Bartending over the summer is one of the more common choices among college students. You have the possibility of making some good money, but you will definitely be working some late nights. If you enjoy the nightlife, this may be a good place to start. There are a few positives about working as a bartender that will help when you’re looking for your full-time job. Most importantly, you will get to learn how to work in high-pressure situations, which is a highly transferable skill. Bars sometimes get extremely hectic and you will learn that you must stay calm during these moments. Second, you will be interacting with people constantly, and you never know who you will meet. I recommend you always be kind and outgoing because there is a chance you may be meeting your future employer.
If you are looking to stay active during the summer, then working as a camp counselor might be a great fit for you. It is also great to put on your resume because you will be developing some great working skills along the way. This job is definitely one that can stand out on a resume when you are applying to jobs.
Getting a job will not only put cash in your pocket but it will also give your parents a break from always giving you money for food, clothes or whatever your heart desires.
Technology continues to improve the way we do things in society. This is especially true with millennials as they are using technology to help stretch their dollars. Nowadays, smartphones and money management apps are simplifying ways for young adults to save money. Here are the top three apps you need to download ASAP!
This unique app continues to be a hot commodity in the app world. It is a person-to-person mobile payment app that can be extremely useful for millennials. The best part about this app is that it is free to download and use! Venmo makes it incredibly easy to exchange money between friends and family. It can be useful for splitting dinner bills, paying back rent money, food shopping, and more. Venmo is also very easy to get the hang of – all you have to do type your friend’s name in the search menu and enter the amount you want to pay or the amount of money you want to request if someone owes you.
This is app gives you an excellent visual of your expenditures. You have the opportunity to check out what you have spent money on over a course of a month, day, or week. Another thing to point out about this unique app is that you are even able to scan all your receipts and will it give you all the details of the purchase! This is a great time saver as you do not have to worry about losing paper receipts or have to worry about going to through the hassle of typing every detail of what you are spending.
Mint allows you to keep track of all of your finances regardless of which bank you use, and craft personalized budgets based on your income. It also gives you an in depth look at credit cards, student loans, and more. You are able keep to track of how much you spend on certain items last month, and decide how much you are able to spend on other necessities. This amazing app is easy to use and it is free!