Personal Finance for Millennials done right.
Personal Finance, it’s the subject more often than not is shied away from, hushed at the dinner table, and is the last thing that’s on your mind during happy hour, or Thursday night drinks after a long work week.
Who really is in control of their finance at a young age? You may have a job, earning good money, student loans. But do you have a plan? I’m not saying you need to become a Billionaire, or save every penny like you’re living as a frugal troll. I’m talking about being financially literate. Easy stuff, being able to analyse your balance sheets, keep track of your monthly spending habits, knowing what’s coming into your wallets, and bank accounts, and what’s coming out. You don’t need an MBA to do these things it all starts with a plan.
What is it that you want to cut? Is it your monthly spending, is it debt, or possibly creating more income for yourself to begin investing. Whatever it may be, it all starts with a plan. When I started working last summer, I made just over 2K, spent the last $800 on a TV, and an Xbox, I blew it. How long the hours are, and how it hard it is to make money really made me kick myself in the back once I realized what I did in later months. Hindsight is 20/20. Working all through the fall, and into the current spring I was able to more than double my savings account, and put aside a nice sum for investing as well. This was able to be done by a good amount of sacrifice, and discipline, it’s not hard, but it’s not easy either.
I took it this way, my friends were out buying new cars, getting into debt, having that fear of not making the payments every month, what if for some reason they couldn’t work? They’d default on their loan, and ruin their credit at such a young age, and we all know what a bad credit score can do for you (more like can’t do)….but they have a nice car though. So, I asked around, what were your car payments? $300 seemed to be average, so I said as opposed to having a car payment, I’m going to put this “car payment”, or “royalty” was what I called it away for myself, I wasn’t sure what exactly it was going to be for, but I wanted that money for myself as opposed to throwing it away at a temporary car just to flash and say “hey look at my used high mileage-late year BMW, or Mustang.” I found work as a tipped Employee while going to school, earning tips and a wage was a great way for me to save my paychecks, and have extra money on the side to live off, and grow my investing fund at the same time. So from November till present I’ve been putting $300 away into an account for my investor’s account with Etrade. It’s called delaying gratification: by not going out and getting myself a newer used car, I’m sticking it out with my 188,000+ mile 2002 Honda Civic, fixed it up, and I’m riding it until I’m ready for a brand new purchase after I complete my degree..maybe an M4.
I’ve been at this “royalty system” of $300 a month, and has allowed me to finalize my amount of $2200, along with living a fulfilling life, adding to my savings account, my long term CD, and Money Market Account, all the while enjoying my youth. I must say it does take hard work, when your friends want to go buy shoes, you think of that money that you could be putting away for that month, or other unnecessary things that will just prolong this financial process. It’s what matters to you, the shoes, or financial building.
Regardless to say, this journey of getting to know thy financial self has been very fulfilling, and full of learning experiences. I learned about discipline, gratification, and how hard work can really pay off. I’m still on this journey, and it is never over but I’d hope to spread this knowledge to us younger people who have not started on their own financial journey, or need help getting out of their financial situation, therefore I founded MillionsForMillennials, a website that is put on by me, from Millennials, for Millennials. We touch on topics such as Budgeting, Investing, Personal Finance, and Weekly Financial terms, all in the name of gripping the reigns of our finances! So, check us out when we drop the site in the Fall of 2016.
I encourage you all to take personal finance by the horns, and get to making smart money choices.