Being a millennial isn’t easy. Not only is this generation in more student debt than any previous generation, but many graduated college just in time for the markets to crash. While many people like to tell millennials that they could easily afford a house if they put in some hard work and quit all the avocado toast and lattes (we’re looking at you boomers), most millennials are sadly living paycheck to paycheck.
But if you’re aiming to finally get your finances sorted next year, here are some tips to help you save money while still enjoying life (and lattes):
Know what you’re working with
When you feel like you’re not earning enough, checking your bank account can be a depressing experience. But in order to know where you can save money, you need to create a budget.
You can use a spreadsheet or a piece of paper, but since millennials are the most tech-savvy generation, you’ll probably want to check out some of the free finance apps available. Be sure to look into an itunes money organizer app, and if you have an android, the android cashback app could be the answer you’re looking for.
Get used to saying “no”
We all know that FOMO is real (for boomers, this means Fear of Missing Out). However, turning down invitations is a part of learning to be more responsible with your finances. Let’s face it, going out often leads to expensive drinks and food, plus poor decisions when you’ve had a few too many mimosas at brunch.
Get used to hanging out at home, pretend to be an adult and throw a dinner party, or curl up with Netflix and avoid the winter weather.
Know your pitfalls
We all have money pitfalls, but being aware of them can be the difference between being financially savvy and financially stupid. Are you someone who shops when they’re emotional? Maybe you’re obsessed with tech? Can’t stay away from Sephora? If a new bottle of perfume or handbag is what makes you feel better after a rough week at work, you’ll need to find a better way to vent your frustration.
It’s nice to think that you’ll end the month with plenty left over for savings, but it’s also nice to be realistic. As soon as you’ve paid your bills, send money straight into your savings where you can’t touch it. To reduce the temptation to transfer it back into your checking, set up a savings account at a completely different bank.
While millennials are definitely fighting an uphill battle when it comes to finances, a few smart choices can be the difference between that house deposit or a life of renting. Sure, it’s easy to yell “YOLO” and buy another round at the bar, but think about how proud you’ll be when you’ve finally built up your own nest egg.