It’s true, millennials have more debt than previous generations.
In school, I learned a lot of unnecessary information like the Pythagorean Theorem, pottery, and how to write a poem. Something I was never taught in school but have realized is the key to success is saving and managing money better. Planning for the future and not spending every dollar I make has made my life a lot easier and less stressful. Can someone please start teaching these things in school?!
Anyway saving and managing money will make life a lot easier as an adult. I had to learn this the hard way. Hello, first credit card.
When I met my husband I was under the impression that it was simple, make x amount of dollars and then spend exactly x amount of dollars and then some. I will pay it back after my next paycheck. I think this ideology frightened him and he sat down and gave me a lesson on budgeting and saving. All new information to me.
College loans, car payments, credit card debt, and other expenses have a lot of millennials feeling they will never get out of debt. They work long hours, weekends, and even have second jobs.
Hopefully, these tips can help you how they helped me:
1. Create a budget and stick to it
First, write out how much money you bring in each month. Then look at how much bills for rent, utilities, medical expenses, car payments, and other necessities add up to be. After that take a look at how much you have leftover. The leftover amount doesn’t mean, “This is how much I can spend.” Some of the leftover money should be put into savings and/or saved for a rainy day.
2. Stop buying every new thing or outfit your favorite influencer is promoting
Or just buying new things in general. There will always be something new and stylish to buy but hold off until you can afford those things. Add more neutrals and basics to your closet. Minimalistic chic is so in!
3. Meal Planning
Instead of eating out for lunch or going out to dinner. Make your meals to bring to work/school. On most Sunday’s I will make a thing of pasta or rice bowls and have lunch for the whole week! This is also A LOT cheaper than eating out. For dinner, I try to cook as much as possible and eat leftovers.
4. Buy Store-Brand
A lot of the time I buy generic over-the-counter medications and store-brand food items. They are basically the same thing and for a cheaper price. Most of the time these products have the exact same ingredients.
5. Cancel Subscriptions
Go through your bank statements and find out what monthly payments you are making for memberships. Sometimes we can forget about these or we don’t really need them. At one point I had Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime for streaming, Apple Music and Spotify for music and a bunch of different apps I had purchased and forgotten about.
6. Quit Bad Habits
Smoking or vaping can be a huge monthly expense. Think about how much every day you might spend on this. Write it out. Sometimes it can really open your eyes to how much can be saved by cutting this out. Alcohol can also be costly. Think about bar tabs on the weekends or drinks at dinner. This can all add up.
7. Cut Out Unnecessary Expenses
I had to stop getting eyelash extensions, manicures & pedicures, waxing and Starbucks! It was hard at first but I ended up loving my natural look. I learned how to wax myself and tint my eyebrows at home. I learned how to do this on YouTube. There are thousands of YouTube videos out there that are seriously life-changing. I also bought a coffee pot and started drinking coffee at home. I now treat myself to Starbucks once in a while.
All of this is easier said than done. Trust me. It can take practice. But the sooner you get your finances under control the less stress you will feel. It will also better prepare you for the future. Saving money is cool!Read more in Being HER