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.
Millennials are time and time again accused of a lack of attention span, an inundation with technology and an obsession with social media. Yet, what is often neglected is that these very characteristics could be viewed as positive attributes. In fact, social media in particular presents a phenomenal opportunity for growing these young men and women’s career, enhancing their professional reputation, and cultivating their corporate/client relationships.
As Millennials trail-blaze their way into a professional future saturated with digital media and technology, here are a number of things they should keep in mind:
Focus on the long-term.
As they say, “content is king,” and cultivating a long-term relationship rests upon this very notion. By providing value to your digital audience, you are forming an organic relationship with what will be your loyal customer base. If you merely reach out to ask for referrals or advertise mediocre specials, you will lose the interest of your online following and thus reduce your potential customer base.
High-quality, informative and engaging content is what will naturally drive customers to your brand and is what will keep them coming back. Give your customers (or professional network) something they legitimately want to read, and they will keep returning to the source (you) for more.
Maintain professional social media profiles.
Just in case you haven’t already taken care of this, make sure you have created and are maintaining a professional online presence. LinkedIn and Twitter are both fantastic platforms for increasing your digital exposure and refining your professional brand. As you increasingly post informative and engaging content, you will be adding to your image as a ‘thought-leader’ in your industry, which will in turn bolster your overall image.
Keep your finger on the pulse of the online community to ensure you are writing about things and engaging with trends that have traction behind them. You can increase your digital audience by writing things people want to read, but the only way to write thing people want to read is to see what they are already reading somewhere else. Websites like Right Relevance and even the Google News add-on are wonderful tools for seeing what the internet is discussing, interacting with, and commenting on. Take advantage.
In today’s day and age, social media is a fundamental aspect of building, refining, and perfecting your professional image. There is no excuse to not grow your online brand along with your career. In fact, your career itself may very well depend on it.
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.
It’s so tiny (crazy?) that it just might work. I recently stumbled across this awesome article with some unique but insightful ideas on how the younger generation can make some money despite a smaller entry-level salary. For a good read, click here!
Finally! It seems that Millennials are not going to be the only ones talked about in the workplace. With Gen Zers making their first appearance in the workforce this year (at 22), it looks like there may be some slight differences in the office. For more information check out this article!
Millennials may get a lot of flak in the workplace, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s warranted. Sometimes it’s just a difference of opinion, and sometimes it’s just simple miscommunication. The next time you feel a generational conflict arise in your office, you should try to implement some of these quick tips and tricks to make the most of your relationship with your Millennial manager.
With today’s access to technology, our ability to research and collect data is at an unprecedented high. Perhaps it is for this reason then that so many movements are so analyzed, subject to perpetual judgments and broadcasted to the world at large. Whereas formerly social movements required time to be reflected upon, it seems they are not retrospectively observed as they happen.
Personally, I think this lack of time for perspective coupled with the immediate publicity that the internet offers results in record numbers of unsubstantiated opinions being presented as stone-cold fact. This sort of misinformation is particularly evident in the perception of Millennials in the workplace. It seems constant false information is being spouted across the nation and then supported with slipshod interpretations of data that’s questionable at best. It’s time we put an end to it.
Here are the three greatest Millennial myths that have managed to persist despite abundant research proving otherwise:
We won’t move out.
We can’t live on our own. We just won’t grow up. I mean, 36% of all Millennials still live with our parents, right?
Wrong. Yes, Millennials are indeed living at home longer than previous generations—but that’s hardly because we are entitled or unwilling to move out on our own. It’s because we’re in school. In fact, only 25% of 25 to 29 year olds live at home. A measly 13% of us in the 30-34 age range live at home. Yet, it is true that an ostensibly impressive 56% of us from 18-25 live at home. However, this tremendous difference has a very simple (albeit unfortunately neglected) explanation: college dormitories are considered to be living at home.
College enrollment rates are at a record high right now. So it only makes sense that if dorms are supposedly “living at home,” then record numbers of Millennials living at home is bound to be at a record high too.
We can’t get a job.
Here’s a headline, Millennial Unemployment: The Crisis the Candidates Ignore. Studies claim that the Millennial unemployment rate is 12.8% (two times the national average)—but again, this number misleadingly represents college students, because it includes them.
39% of 18-24 year olds are still in college, so of course this 12.8% rate being cited is skewed. If you remove 18-24 year olds from the equation, and look at, say, 25-35 year olds, then the rate is 5.2%. Considering the national average is 4.9%, this number is far more reasonable. It is worth noting that it’s true that fewer 18-24 year olds are employed than years past, but, again, this is more than likely because more of us are enrolled in school full-time.
We work from home.
Although, like any generation, there are those who do enjoy working from home, that by no means implies we all want to work from home. In actuality, Randstad and Future Workplace recently did a study and concluded that, potentially surprisingly, 42% of Millennials would rather work in a corporate space. 21% liked working in a co-working space and 20% enjoyed a home office.
Interestingly enough, it does, however, seem that the option to work anywhere matters most than where the work actually gets done. A lack of workplace flexibility is a primary reason Millennials do leave their jobs, and a separate report by the Millennial Branding report concluded that 45% of us will actually opt for workplace flexibility over pay.
The primary takeaway from all these mythical points boils down to one very simple point: validate information. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. Just because it’s published by some third party company you have never heard of does not mean it’s credible information. Even if it’s a study, that doesn’t mean the study was carried out with integrity or without leading questions.
We must remember to verify our opinions with reality—not with clickbait headlines we come across when scrolling through our Facebook news-feed.
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.