I am a millennial as well, but I regret many choices I made, and I need to build up my career at my age now. You may have a decent job, spend money on many things, and have not planned for a long term. You may not think money is the issue at this moment.
This list is something that I learned about money in the past, and it is something that every Millennial needs to know about money.
1. People Are Happy To Spend Your Money
You can order an expensive drink and show your friend you can order it. You think spending your money on the birthday parties, bridal showers, brunch dates, etc are the necessary way to expand your social network.
In fact, there is a secret. People are so happy to spend your money for you. You may get invited from someone, yet you feel bad to turn down the invites. You end up spending money for their parties, brunches, meetings, etc.
However, they might not truly your friends. They seem great and nice to you when you show up, but when you need help, they may ignore you.
On the other hand, it may be your best friend or college roommate’s special day that really wants to you come along once in a lifetime, but it can be awkward. For example, attending a wedding can be expensive. You might end up spending a lot of money. This may lead to a serious conversation about money.
So, be careful about the money who you spend on.
2. What You Earn in A Month Is NOT What You Can Spend
Many people have a few credit cards.
However, a credit card is not like having free money, and you should not live paycheque to paycheque. You should pay your credit card bill every month; otherwise, you spend above your limit. Credit card debt is the worst debt to have.
Here is a typical debt example from Meridian: a law school student received $50,000 credit for tuition. After graduating, this student luckily worked as a lawyer in a firm, yet it took her several years to get out of the debt.
Debt is evil, and they are so awful. Be careful of it.
3. Retirement Plan As A Priority
You are young only once. You should think about your future. Retirement is not that far away.
You should begin retirement planning with your first job.
Many people believe that Social Security will pay for all or most of their retirement needs. In fact, it only covers a minimum foundation of protection. A good retirement plan should be included the following: Social Security, employer-based retirement plan benefits, personal savings, and investments.
Let’s say you are making $50,000 annually before taxes, you need to have at least $40,000 a year to enjoy the same standard of living you have before you retire.
You can start small and grow. Even setting a small portion of paycheque monthly will pay off in the long run.
4. Set Up A Budget, Check Your Credit
You need to organise your household income and monthly bills. Setting up a budget is an easy way to keep track your expense and keep all your bills in one place.
On the other hand, you need to check your credit frequently. Some expenses can end up in a debt collection agency that you may not even realise. You need to review your credit report and it can give you a chance to look at any errors and evaluate your overall credit score.
Some websites offer “free credit reports” products but they may come with some conditions. So, you have to be careful when you sign up these “free” services.
5. Find Your Goal And Purpose in Your Life
This may not directly relate to money, but it is very important.
If you have trouble to figure out what you want to do with your life, you need to explore more. We are all born with certain skills and talents.
You need to choose a career that you can maximise your skills.
You may want to do something that does not require a degree, such as a professional athlete or photographer, but you need to think about your career as a long term. You need to consider a college degree seriously. If you cannot afford to go to college, you can go to a community college first, and then transfer to a university after 2 years.
Your earnings increase significantly with a college degree.
If college is not for you, you should get some technical training. There are many great independent schools. After attending in those school, your chance of getting a job increase.
There are demands for many professions, such as dental assistants, hair stylists, electricians, etc. There will always a need for training people in those professions.
Also published on Medium.