Money Tips for Millennials

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Millennials and Money

Millennials follow a different path than generations before them, in more ways than one. This group is reaching milestones later in life, such as getting married and starting families, and focusing on life experiences more. We’ve been given all the job advice in the world growing up; the thought that all you need to do is work hard to make it big. However, someone along the way forgot to give more tips on money, especially given the difficulty of finding a job, especially in their field of study, for many millennials.

Although unemployment rates have been decreasing in recent years, millennials still make up roughly 40% of the unemployed in the United States, according to this Newsweek article. This fact can make it difficult for this generation to get ahead, but the good news is there are ways to leverage your finances even if you feel you are working a dead-end job.

Here are four money tips for millennials that I’ve used to help my own finances:

Make saving a social thing. 

I don’t know about you, but I can think of at least five friends off the top of my head who have yet to get that raise at work. While we all love hanging out together, sometimes that involves extra spending that we really should not be doing. But, a way to spend just as much time together without emptying your bank account is to take turns hosting a girls’ night in. Buying some cheap wine and snacks accompanied by some movies and laughter is a great alternative for a night on the town, which can be $81 per night on average.

Also, the crew can ban together to do money-free weekends together. Even if you are not physically hanging out, you can still help to keep one another accountable. Plus, it’s great to have an excuse to bond with friends, especially over common goals.

Create other streams of income. 

If you recognize that you are in a dead-end job, hopefully you are taking steps to get out in order to improve your financial situation. If you are having a difficult time finding a new job (another post for another day), another option would be to create some other sources of revenue as you continue the search.

Seasonal jobs are a great option for millennials as they are often a bit more flexible, but you can also offer to use some skills or talents you currently have to gain some extra income. House cleaning, babysitting and the like are all great ways to make cash fast, but you can also consider freelancing, especially if you want to land that dream job.

Get techy with it. 

Investing seems so unattainable and intimidating before you actually start doing it, not to mention it can also be risky. But, it is a great way to grow your wealth. There are so many online tools you can use now to improve your financial portfolio without the intimidation. These resources cost very little to get started and are great for millennials. The best part is many of them allow you to create your own minimum investment amount, giving you more control over than ever.

Be smart with your options. 

In desperate times, you may be tempted to apply for a payday loan or sign up for another credit card to pay off other expenses; however, by doing so, you are only creating more debt for yourself. These quick options may be easy to get, but they dig your hold even deeper. Don’t get caught up in these fast solutions to solve all your problems; instead develop a strategic and specific plan that will get you out of debt and get you ahead. This plan may include automating a monthly savings amount, consolidating current debt, starting a retirement fund, and cutting back on leisurely spending.

This is another reason why having an emergency savings fund is so important; it will keep you away from wanting to (or needing to) resort to these choices. Avoid accumulating credit card debt and instead work on building your assets and net worth.


 

Millennials definitely have had to face many challenges economically that may not have been expected or predicted by previous generations. By spending some time being careful about your finances, though, you can slowly but surely build a reliable and steady financial future for yourself.

These are just a few ways I’ve focused on improving my finances. What have you done that works for you?

 

 

 

 

Does More Time or More Money Cause Happiness?

Does more money cause happiness?

Does more money cause happiness?

They say money can’t buy happiness, but research over the years shows that those better off financially do tend to have a better well-being…to an extent. Everything has a limit, of course, but if money does not cause us to be happier what does?

Those who are able to pay bills on time and not struggle financially do appear to be happier in general terms, but money being the cause to happiness seems to actually be more about what we buy, according to some research. It is suggested in recent studies that what we spend our money on does determine our happiness, and that actually, spending money on experiences has a longer lasting effect. Although, this is a thought that could have been assumed even without the study.

Conversely, a popular study by Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton expresses that a higher income does improve your life but not necessarily your emotional well-being. It goes on to say that those with an annual income of $75,000 seem to have the best of both worlds (looking fondly on their life and associating quality with everyday experiences).

There is a point where money begins to no longer provide your well-being and seemingly starts to cause more heartache due to losing satisfaction or desiring more, which becomes a never-ending cycle with needing more money in order to satisfy your urges or new financial demands. Of course, this does also partially depend upon what is important to us as individuals in life and our desires. Is it money that really makes us happier? Or would more of something else solve all our problems?

A study published in the Social Psychological and Personality Science journal found some interesting data to this question.  The researchers at UCLA and Wharton School involved in this latest article (published May 25) found that roughly two-thirds of 4,400 people surveyed mentioned that they would prefer having more money over time. However, the one-third who chose more time were happier. This does come with gray areas, though, and raises a couple important questions.

Are people who want more time truly happier? Is it that not desiring more money makes them more content or is that they already have enough money so now they want more time to enjoy their income?

The researchers did use the $75,000 salary amount to evaluate questions such as these. When asking which was preferred, more time or money, to individuals with this base income, those who answered more time did appear to still have more happiness in their lives on average.

So, which is better? Time or money? Does one cause more happiness than the other? While still up for debate, it appears better to be in a situation where you have enough money to take care of all your needs and obligations in life while wanting more time rather than the other way around. Although, if you have minimal to no debt, money may be of little concern and, thus, more time may be better in those particular situations as experiences in life tend to fulfill us more, according to the study mentioned previously in this article.

There is definitely a difference between needing more money to better your financial situation and wanting more money for superficial reasons. At the end of the day, only you can determine what makes you happy. It’s all about creating balance, both with time and money.

What are your thoughts on the topic?

 

 

Financial Tips for Live-in Couples

Financial Tips for Couples

Financial Tips for Couples


Just because you don’t have a marriage license together doesn’t mean you do not need financial tips as a couple.

When you make the exciting (yet scary) decision to move in with your partner, it needs to be about more than just sharing a home; it needs to be about sharing your financial goals as well.

Deciding to co-exist with your significant other in one space is a big step in the relationship, which is why money needs to be a topic of discussion before knowing where the couch is going to be located in the living room.

Financial tips for couples can be missed among all the other advice being provided by friends and family on how to keep the love alive in a long-term relationship or what to expect when cohabitating. But, here are some simple things to consider as you begin to move forward together:

Be transparent about your finances. 

Don’t wait until after a marriage proposal or, worse, after the wedding to discuss your finances with one another. If you want to build a long-lasting healthy relationship, you should talk about your debts, financial goals, savings, assets and the like so that you can start things off on the same page. You may want to go as far as sharing your credit score. This is often needed prior to renting a home or apartment anyway.

Take care of your own debts. 

Unless discussed for special circumstances or confirmed future goals, you should strive to always cover your own debts. Having your partner cover the costs of your financial obligations can cause some serious issues. Have you ever heard that money is one of the biggest causes of break-ups? That statement exists for a reason. Discuss your monetary goals with one another but also create your own together. This can help to determine when it would be necessary to help cover debts in the relationship that aren’t yours.

Know how the household expenses will be split. 

Being aware of one another’s income and debts will also be helpful in knowing whether a certain space is right for you as a couple. If there is concern there may be resentment if one is paying more than the other, choose another space that won’t put a strain on anyone’s bank account. If actually purchasing a home together, be sure to put both of your names on everything so that responsibility does not fall all on one or the other in the relationship just in case a break-up were to occur.

Because my boyfriend and I are only leasing an apartment, we found what would be easiest for us would be for him to pay the rent and I would cover the household bills. Over the last three years of living together, we have worked hard at really building a team setting.. If we need groceries and he is out and about, he will pick them up. We do, though, tend to go together so that we can split this cost 50/50. Our house is not just somewhere we sleep at night; it’s our home that we’ve built together, even if it is a lease.

Overall, it is all about maintaining that open communication and applying financial tips that make sense for you and your relationship.

Are you taking that big step with your partner? What challenges have you faced or overcome financially together?