If you’re a millennial, you’re probably already aware of the financial struggles facing this generation. Not only do millennials have more student debt than any generation before them, but many graduated just as the markets crashed and businesses stopped hiring. Unfortunately, most millennials are still living paycheck to paycheck.
If you’re planning to finally get your finances sorted this year, here are some ways you can save some money without becoming a social hermit:
Know your numbers
When you don’t feel like you’re making enough money, it can be depressing to check your bank account. But without a firm grasp of the money that’s coming in and going out of your account, you can’t get any further ahead.
Use an app, a piece of paper, or a spreadsheet, and start tracking how much you’re earning and where your money is going. Take a week to note down every cent you spend so you can see where you can make some cuts.
Learn to say no
No one wants to turn down invitations. But sometimes you need to deal with a little FOMO in the short term so you can be financially sorted in the long term. Instead of going out for expensive food and drinks, plan to entertain at home. Throw a dinner party (make it a potluck if you hate cooking) or invite friends over for some drinking games or snacks and Netflix.
Sort out your debt
Most millennials have a range of debt, including student loans, credit card debt, car payments, and more. If you feel like you can’t get your head above water, it’s time to tackle this debt. If you need money fast, and you don’t want to impact your credit rating, it’s sometimes a good idea to look into online loans. These can make it easy for you to get your hands on the cash you need. Of course, you should always borrow responsibly and work on ways to pay back any debt you have before you take on new debt.
While you may feel like you don’t have enough money to be saving, you need to consider whether you’re spending based on your needs or your wants. Then you can set a budget based on how much you’d like to be saving each month. The key to making this happen is to automate your savings. As soon as you’re paid, you should have a dedicated amount of money transferring to your savings account.
Ideally, you should have 3 to 6 months of living expenses saved. This will keep you covered if you suddenly lose your job or suffer another financial setback. Then you can move on to saving for retirement, a house, and your dream vacation.