Millennial (noun) \mə-ˈle-nē-əl\: A person born between 1982 and the early 2000s. Also known as a member of Generation Y.
This buzz word, millennial, was used as early as 1991 to define the generation that came after Generation X. A group whose grown up in a period of exponential technology growth; they’ve seen the world go from rewinding VCRs to streaming Netflix. I say they but, I am one myself. And if you’re reading this, you’re probably a millennial, too.
If so, you know that millennials are a unique audience with a different sense of money and finances compared to past generations. Where as your mothers and fathers dropped checks off at banks, you make transfers on your bank’s mobile app.
With this in mind, here are the top 10 finance hacks for millennials.
Utilize a Student Debt Repayment Tool for Student Loans.
This generation has experienced a shocking amount of student loans and debt. Student fees have gone up, even as job prospects have (in many cases) gone down. A tool to help student debt?
Companies like Forbes, Lifehacker and The New York Times all support this platform that helps to manage and eliminate student debt. Forbes declares that “Tuition.io neatly paints your student loan financial picture”.
How? Tuition.io is all about being financially aware and then creating a plan to improve your situation. You can monitor all your student loans, stay up-to-date on your balances, track your savings and find out about alternate repayment and refinancing options.
Time for millennials to save on loans.
Listen to Financial Podcasts.
Money-based podcasts are not only interesting, they keep you up-to-speed on financial matters, so you know how to handle yours. Here are the top few I recommend:
You Need a Budget (YNAB)
You Need a Budget is an ideal money podcast for millennials because it’s an honest, hard-hitting source of info that’s relevant in day-to-day life. Listen in for valuable advice that’ll make bills at the end of the month seem a lot less scary.
Stuff Mom Never Told You
Stuff Mom Never Told You is a hot topic podcast focused on female millennials. The finance-focused podcasts offer great new perspective for both guys and girls, even if the focus is for those with two X chromosomes.
Listen, Money Matters!
Listen, Money Matters! podcast is a great balance of witty banter and down-to-earth, relevant information. This is a top finance podcast for millennials and young people wanting to save and address debt.
Freelance or Side Gig It.
In an age where the standard 9 – 5 job has changed drastically, there are many companies hiring lots of freelance and contract positions. Take advantage of these freelance jobs and gigs. I recommend checking out sites like:
Your local Craigslist
(Just be careful of scams here; if something feels off, go with your gut!)
Think twice about transportation.
Millennials are not just in the age of fast advancing technology and hipster coffee cocktails, they live in a time where global warming has never been a hotter topic (literally). Help reduce your budget and your own carbon footprint by taking public transport or bicycling. (Think #Portland #Seattle)
Bicycling combines physical activity with transport, too, so you can get rid of that gym membership. Curious about more benefits from bicycling? Read these 30 Science-Backed Reasons to Take Up Cycling (by BikeRadar).
Be Super Credit Conscious. Get Good Credit.
Why is it important to build your credit? Let’s say you want to buy a car one day, maybe a house, what the hey, maybe a yacht. When looking at financial planning and financing options, a lot is going to come down to your credit score. Millennials, myself included, enter in our credit card information for everything, from ordering ink on Amazon to buying movie tickets. To make sure you get a good credit score, be incredibly conscious about:
- Not spending above your credit card limit.
- Paying your credit cards on time.
- Looking into different credit card options and talking with your bank and/or someone knowledgeable in finance about which are the best options for you.
Some of these purchases may feel like they’re a long ways away, but, truly, they’re going to sneak up fast. You want to have good credit when they do.