There are so many things we are taught in school. Many of which, as thriving adults, we don’t use. For example, I have no idea how calculus is helping me in my current life and I’m still confused as to when I would be using baking soda and vinegar at the same time to get that volcano effect. Am I the only one? There’s so many things that I’ve had to learn in my adult life that are essential and had absolutely nothing to do with my adolescent or collegiate education.
One of the things that should be taught all around is money. I’m not talking about denomination but how to save it and where to use it. Many of us do not know how to use our money to contribute to our future. We aren’t widely taught about 401K, retirement funds, investing, debt solution, and a saving schedule. We are pretty much flying by the seat of our pants.
The good news is, it’s never too late to educate yourself. Do something today that your future self will thank you for. Here are a few tips to help you get on your way and keep more money in your account:
- Let it all add up- Slow and Steady is said to win the race. If you save small amounts at a time you’ll have a savings in no time. For example: If you get paid biweekly and you transfer $25 into your savings each paycheck, that’s $50 per month. If you keep going for a year, that’s $600. If you’re able to spare $50 per paycheck, you’ll double that. Little by little, you’ll get there.
- Speak to a financial advisor- If you don’t know something, ask. If you want to know how to pay off your student loans faster, find out about investing, what percentage of your paycheck should be contributed to your 401k, or long term goals like buying a car or house, speak to someone who can help you. If you job offers a 401K or 403B plan, more than likely, you can speak to someone who runs the retirement program in order to inquire about financial planning. Also, your bank can offer many options on what’s best as far as your future and even getting into investing your money. The bank or credit union has way more to offer you than direct deposit and atm withdrawals.
- Brown Bag it- According to Forbes, on average, Americans spend $936 yearly eating out. I’m pretty sure you have a few things you could do with an extra $936 dollars. If you scale back on eating out and meal prep before work, you’ll save tons of money which can go toward more important things, or your savings. Need to save at the grocery store? Gather up a newspaper and thumb through the circulars. See what’s on sale at your local grocery stores and go to sites like couponsuzy.com, couponkarma.com and ebates to get coupons and occasional perks.
- Create a solid budget- The best way to have a successful financial future would be to be honest with yourself. It’s no secret that the millennial generation has really taken a hit financially. We are going to college more, accruing more debt, and getting paid about $4000 less than those in 2000. Many of us are staying home longer and delaying big purchases like home owning and cars in order to live a financially feasible life. Do yourself a favor. Be honest about your money and your bills. Make a list of necessities and never forget to give yourself a little something. If you write it all down and see how much you have, you’ll know what you’re really working with.
- Consolidate Loan Debt- If you’ve been to college then you pretty much know what it’s like to be in debt up to your eye balls. The default system is pretty much designed to give you a 10-year option with the largest amount. Know your options. Ask questions. Certain fields of study are offered forgiveness programs that allow them to pay an amount for a certain number of years which after, your debt will be forgiven. Also, there are other option to roll all of your loans into one and extend the life in order to pay it all off at one. There are payment plans and schedules for your convenience for your feasibility and affordability.
Financial stability is important and it takes time and discipline. If you know your goals, then you will know what you need to do to make things happen for yourself. Never underestimate the power of planning. Your future needs you right now. Not when you get there.
*You’re Welcome for the Memo*
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