What Financial Habits Should You Master Right Now?
Over 60% of millennials believe that our generation doesn’t know how to manage money. Many of us (read: “most of us”) worry about our finances in some capacity. While we have our challenges and take up space at both ends of the spectrum, millennials as a collective are doing better than we think considering rising prices and stagnant salaries. We are doing the best that we can while dealing with the gap between what we’re bringing in and what we are having to pay out. We realize the importance of starting to build good habits but sometimes fall off or fall short when it comes to mastering those habits.
If you are willing and able to do so, start working on (and mastering!) these habits right now:
Diligently pay off debt. If you already have a savings cushion, start being aggressive with your debt. While working on paying off your balances, try to prevent taking on more debt (especially consumer debt).
Work on long term savings and saving for retirement. If you are able to pay off your debt early, aggressively saving for the long term is a great next step. Long term savings includes saving for a house, car, etc., and retirement as well. If you have an employer sponsored retirement plan, start contributing ASAP (especially if your employer offers a match). You don’t have to max out this account right now, and probably won’t if you’re repaying debt, but start contributing anyway.
Discipline. Know how and when to say no to yourself and others!
Intentional spending. Shop smart, use shopping lists, think twice about impulse purchases. Budget funds to treat yourself, have fun, or buy/do things that are important to you. Know your “why” and don’t feel guilty about spending that money! You planned for it!
Plan ahead for vacations, birthday gifts, holiday spending, holiday travel/parties/meals, etc. They happen at the same time every year. If you have the ability to start saving months in advance, save yourself some stress and do so.
What steps are you planning to take to build these habits? What other habits are you working on? Let me know!
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