Millennials have grown up in a different world than their parents and grandparents, so it only makes sense that they handle their finances differently as well. While technology has changed the face of banking, the same core values of managing money remain the same. Below are some tips for today’s millennials in managing their money.
1. Set a Budget
Keeping track of how much and where you spend your money is the first step to creating your own budget. Subtract expenses like rent, car payments, cell phone bills, food, personal expenses, and any other expenses from your income. Use your budget to figure out how much money you are spending in each category. Don’t forget to pay yourself first by setting aside money for your savings as well. There are many online budget programs available to help you stay on track financially, and if you’re a Hills Bank Online user, you can set a budget with Manage My Finances. Simply click Manage My Finances in the left navigation, click Budget, and Add as many Spending Targets as you’d like.
2. Be Careful With Your Credit
While it is good to build up credit, be sure you aren’t accumulating bad credit through credit card debt. Pay off your credit card every month to avoid interest fees. If you are unable to completely pay off the balance, pay as much as you can over the minimum payment and don’t charge anything else so you don’t fall further behind. Credit cards are a great responsibility and should not be overused. If you find yourself overspending by using a card, try budgeting by having a set amount of cash for each week. Once this is used up, avoid spending money until your next paycheck.
4. Save Now by Paying Yourself First
After your bills and other necessary expenses have been accounted for, pay yourself first before using what’s left for eating out, coffee, and entertainment. As your paycheck increases, increase the amount for your savings account as well. Building up your savings gives you security in case of an unexpected large expense. Plus, investing now while you’re young allows you to save more with less because of compounding interest. Time is on your side, so even if you can’t save a lot, you’ll end up saving more in the long run.
Let’s assume Joe saves $100 a month for 30 years beginning at age 35. Michelle also saves $100 a month, but only saves for 10 years beginning at age 23. Both Joe and Michelle earn an average of 8% and plan on retiring at age 65.
Who will have more in their retirement account? Michelle’s balance at age 65 will be $236,000 compared to Joe’s balance of $149,000. Why? Because of the impact of compounded earnings! Even though Michelle contributed less, she started early and received the benefit of compounded earnings on her investments.
4. Utilize Your Resources
While technologies like mobile banking and apps are a great for managing your accounts and keeping track of expenses, it is still okay to go see your banker in person as well. They are a great resource for money management advice and can help you achieve your financial goals. They want to get to know you and your banking needs, plus they can give you advice on future financial goals like buying a car or a home. Take advantage of their knowledge, that’s what they are there for!
What other money management tips do you have for those starting out with money, bills, and budgets? Any resources or tips you have would be great to share in the comments below.