Being a millennial or a Gen Zer in 2019 is not quite as simple as the stereotypes may imply. With college costs rising more than 3,700% between 1964 and 2015, and cost of living soaring high above historical data, the financial burden these generations face is much more substantial than those before them. But where millennials and Gen Zers do have the advantage, is the technology and financial tools they have access to in 2019.
How to budget
Saving money when you’re just starting out in a career or paying off student loan debt is no simple task. Before creating a budget, you’ll need to take inventory of your income and necessary expenses like rent, loan payments, tax payment plan dues, and credit card bills.
From there, you can start to take a look at where your extra cash is going and start planning for how much you can realistically save based on this information. Not a numbers person? With savings and budgeting apps such as Mint, Albert, and Chime, it’s easier than ever to get a comprehensive view of your income and expenses to build a budget. Plus, most budgeting apps on the market will even suggest a budget to you based on your financial data—so all you have to do is stick to it and watch your accounts grow!
How to boost savings
After you’ve nailed down your budget, you’ll be ready to take the next step in finance management: investing. It can be kind of a scary word when you’re just getting started out on the stock market, but simply setting aside your spare change can seriously boost your savings. Use an investment app for millennials, such as Acorns, to make micro-investments simple and automated. You won’t miss that extra $0.50, and before you know it, you’ll be fast-approaching your savings goals!
How to make extra cash
Thanks to the popularity of the shareable economy, there are plenty of ways to make a few extra bucks to level up your savings account! From picking up a freelancing gig to driving for a rideshare company—if you’re committed to saving up for an upcoming trip or purchase, there are plenty of opportunities to help get you there.
Here are a few ideas to help you make some extra money:
- Rent out your spare space on Airbnb
- Take advantage of cash back on credit card rewards programs
- Sell handcrafted goods on Etsy
- Search for a part-time job on Craigslist
- Drive for a rideshare company
- Freelance work on Upwork
- Take surveys for money on MySurvey
- Sell your old stuff on OfferUp
- Sell clothing on Poshmark or Depop
How to save on purchases
Just about everything we want or need to buy is conveniently available to us online. While this definitely makes life easier, and limits your trips to the store, the bills always seem to add up quickly! But just because you’re not shopping at the corner store as regularly, doesn’t mean you have to give up couponing and saving.
Install a savings web extension to your browser to automatically apply coupons and promo codes to your online shopping cart. Saving money on shipping or even getting a small percentage discount can seriously add up when you’re buying online. Plus, it’s totally automatic so you don’t even need to remember to bring your coupon to the store with you!
How to improve financial literacy
None of these financial management tips are going to do you much good without establishing a baseline knowledge for finance terminology. Master the basics of finances by reading blogs or talking to a finance expert. There’s a lot to keep track of, so don’t worry if you’re unsure of the differences between CD accounts and regular savings just yet. Use your internet connection to your advantage to help you get a better understanding of how budgeting, savings, and finance management works!
When you’re living on a limited budget, it can feel like saving money is near impossible. But with the right tools and financial know-how in your back pocket, you can maximize your savings and work your way toward a healthier financial future.