Millennial Money Matters: 10 Ways To Get Ahead With Your Finances

Posted on: 6 April 2017

While the Millennial crowd is well known for supporting a wide range of good causes and fiercely keeping up a "save the world" stance, a staggering 63 percent of them aren't saving for their own long-term financial well-being. The following 10 healthy financial practices can help members of this prominent and politically active generation start saving more for themselves, as they continue to promote the causes closest to their hearts.

1. Visualize Your Far Future

Visualization is a powerful tool, used by many well-known entrepreneurial and highly successful people, including Oprah, the guru of all generations. When you put yourself in the future, your mind starts getting to work on ideas to make tomorrow really work for you. Rather than focusing on the here and now and allowing your financial habits to reflect that short-term mentality, start thinking forward.

2. Stop Collecting Credit Cards

Although it may feel liberating to open a wallet full of big-name credit cards and use them with reckless abandon, you must realize how credit cards can negatively impact you for many years to come. Keep one or two for emergencies, and be very selective about them, making sure the interest rate is competitive and that the card(s) somehow pay you back for using them.

3. Set Savings Proportional To Earnings

If you're constantly striving to earn more money, you should likewise be constantly striving to save more money, proportionally. For example, if you fought for and earned a raise at work, automatically increase the amount you put toward savings. Getting into this habit now will serve you very well in the future.

4. Set Your Sights On Higher Paying Jobs

Despite a sometimes bleak job market, if you present yourself as a creative, hard-working asset to a potential employer, they're going to see the value in you. It's not necessary to have an Ivy League degree or top-level connections, either, as those doing the hiring can usually recognize raw and unique talent when they see it. Don't be afraid to speak beyond your resume, letting prospects know you're a valuable team player who can think outside the box and deliver to the bottom line.

5. Lower Your Debt-To-Earnings Ratio

At any age, chipping away at debt is a challenge. The average American dies owing a whopping $62,000, and if you want to ever get ahead, you must have a laser-focus on your debt-to-earnings ratio, bringing it down to a number that reflects discipline and dedication.

6. Seek Advice From Your Parents

Whether or not you're very close to your parents or even if they voted for the wrong candidate this past election, they have solid financial advice for you, given their personal experiences in life and also of having known you your whole life. Ask what they'd do or what they think you should do sometimes and take their words under serious consideration.

7. Listen To A Professional Financial Planner

Even if you don't have to be a big-time investor to seek financial advice and you don't have to want to invest in tech stock and futures, you only need to have a desire to make the best decisions with your money. A professional financial planner can help you with savings, debt, and other vital aspects of your financial health. At some point, too, you may want to consider investment opportunities, as your savings grow and you build some solid ground underfoot.

8. Become A Minimalist With Your Lifestyle

Although so many things you can buy today border on the absolutely irresistible, if you don't have to have it, consider leaving it sitting on the store shelves. Even if you only adopted this habit for the next year, you'd clearly demonstrate to yourself that you (a) have the discipline and (b) can save money at a faster rate than you likely thought. Even though you can order with the swipe of a screen and have items delivered within 48 hours, perhaps by drones, right to your door...resist!

9. Consider The Peace Of Mind That Comes With Stability

Stress is hard to live with, but if you're constantly struggling to pay your bills and are plagued by feelings of financial insecurity, stress rules your world. When you finally sit down and makes sense of your money matters, planning a budget and setting aside something for a rainy day, you initiate positive changes in your life that will dissolve much of that stress away.

10. Write Down Your Financial Goals

It's easy to think about doing the right thing, then to let those thoughts go straight out the window when you're faced with purchasing decisions. Why not put your goals on paper, emphasizing the value of achieving those goals to you, both now and in the future. If you don't plan for that future, you're very likely to end up in the same precarious financial place you are now.

While you can theoretically save the world without saving for your own future, ultimately, it doesn't make that much sense. Get yourself in a strong, sustainable financial position, and you'll be in a much better position to help others, along with yourself.