Millennials have officially reached adulthood, and most have already made some serious headway into their careers or stepped into the next level of academia to better their minds and arm their skillsets. And there are some who are still piecing it all together, figuring it out with each new day. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, one thing remains true: there’s no time like the present to begin planning and saving for the future.
There are several other facets of “adulting” beyond life milestones such as getting into graduate school or buying a home that are difficult to wrap your head around and even harder to manage— and handling your own finances is one of them.
A crucial part of living a comfortable life and preparing for an even more fruitful future is to keep on top of your financial health. There are a variety of things you can do for your future planning, even if you are currently living paycheck to paycheck. In this post, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about how to plan for your future as a millennial.
Tip #1: Use a budgeting app
Today’s app market is teeming with hundreds of different apps that are specifically designed to help you do everything from setting up a monthly budget to tracking your spending. So, with the possibility of streamlined financial management at your fingertips, why not gear up your smart device with a budgeting app that helps you keep your finances in order? These apps offer sound saving and budgeting guidance and let you keep a holistic view of your financial goals and your progress toward meeting them. You might even consider using an app that features a retirement calculator to see how your savings might add up once it’s time to say goodbye to the workforce.
Tip #2: Adjust your budget as circumstances change
Your budget shouldn’t ever be set in stone— think of it more as a guideline to monitor and guide your spending. The reality is life changes. Unexpected expenses, job raises or losses, and other types of financial factors can alter the path of your budget, but that doesn’t mean it has to change the course of your plan!
Your budget should grow and evolve as time goes by and your circumstances change. While that doesn’t imply that you need to revise your budget each month, it’s still good to be aware of financial changes so that you can adjust your budget accordingly.
Tip #3: Sacrifice expensive habits
Whether it’s your overpriced yoga membership, your six streaming subscriptions, or your too-frequent online shopping sprees, there is bound to be some form of superfluous spending that you can afford to cut out.
If you want to get serious about planning for your future and building a savings fund you can be proud of, you have to begin with committing to a budget and learning how to say no when expensive wants derail your spending strategy. Either find a cheaper alternative or kick the habit to the curb altogether.
Tip #4: Establish an emergency fund ahead of surprise expenses
Life is full of surprises and some of them will make a pretty serious dent in your wallet totally out of the blue. There are lots of situations that will almost inevitably arise and throw your finances out of whack with little or no warning at all— be it emergency car maintenance, a visit to the hospital, or a few last-minute holiday presents that you didn’t prepare for. Handling these surprises with grace requires a working emergency fund.
An emergency fund is simply a savings jar or account set aside for urgent situation-only expenses. Financial experts suggest that people retain at least $1,000 in their emergency fund at all times.
Wrapping up: Invest in your future early on
You’ve likely heard this time and time again, but there is truly no better time to start thinking about your future than today. As a millennial in an increasingly expensive world, planning for your future is a critical venture worth pursuing should you wish to live your version of happily ever after!