6 Life-hacks to stay afloat as a bank-broken millennial.
Millennials are finding themselves in a very unique spot that previous generations have not experienced: flat out broke. While some of the baby-boomers seem to think we are simply reckless and entitled, there are actually quite a few credible reasons why we are where we are today.
To begin, millennials are more educated than any other prior generation. Great! Yes great, but unfortunately this has landed 71% of us with a medium balance of $37,000 in student debt. These payments are nearly debilitating to the rest of our life-plans (buying a house, planning for a family, buying a car). According to a survey conducted by MybankTracker, 30% of recent graduates reported their willingness to donate a body part in trade for their student debt!
We are also living the big-city life, and paying for it big time. While young adults are making significantly less than they did a few decades ago, they are also living in urban areas at a higher rate than ever before. Thus, spending most of their income on housing.
The list of cons that we have been handed as millennials could go on and on, but rather than focus on the negative, let’s take a look at these 5 super-simple life-hacks to help you get out of your financial rut sooner than later.
- Brew at home.
We get it, there is just something different about that grande no-foam skinny-vanilla latte, but we are also here to tell you that it is time to get over it. If you are spending $5 a day on coffee you are running a yearly tab of nearly two thousand dollars a year. Go get yourself a coffee pot and grab some flavored coffees from the supermarket. Try setting the automatic brew for a few minutes before your alarm goes off — you will be surprised by how great it feels to wake up to the smell of a freshly brewed pot of coffee!
We aren’t suggesting that you walk into work tomorrow and ask for an unreasonable raise, but if you are starting in a new role or going into a performance review, remember to go in prepared about why you deserve a raise. Have solid examples of how you have improved, changes you have implemented, actual metrics of progress over the past year and compliments you may have received from colleagues or clients. Research shows that you could be missing out on a million dollars throughout your career by not gaining the skill of negotiation early on. So go into that office with confidence, knowing that you have earned what you are asking for, and remember that the answer is always no before you ask.
3. Start packin’.
For the first time ever (since anyone has been paying attention to these sort of things) young adults are spending more on eating out in restaurants and take-out than they are on actual groceries. Not only will you be saving on your spending by packing your lunch, but you will also be eating healthier by knowing exactly what ingredients are going into your meals. By making eating out at a restaurant a treat for yourself you will be more disciplined to eat in or pack your brown bag and will feel rewarded when you do decide to splurge.
4. Move back home.
If you are fresh out of college, and the location of your job allows for it, moving back home with your parents can be a great way to save some money. Not only will you be eliminating rent, but all the extra costs will likely be eliminated too (cable, internet, food — thanks mom!). Millennials do have a bit of a reputation for mooching off of their parents, but the truth is, it is sometimes necessary to make it in today’s times and that is why so many of us are back in our childhood bedrooms.
5. Don’t discount the small stuff.
Adopting the mentality that every little bit counts can eventually get you to a point where you are doing some serious saving. Go for the basic cable, turn off the lights, turn off the air-conditioning when you leave the house and ditch the extra drink at happy hour. Another great way to save is by purchasing generic brands whenever possible. Whether it is cereal, medication or shampoo, you are getting the same ingredients at a much better price.
6. Pay off student and credit card debt faster.
I know, this is easier said than done. That is why we started building CoinStash. A “set it and forget it” tool to help you pay off Student and credit card debt off a little faster. This approach can save you thousands of dollars in time and money while paying off your loans. One of our little neat features is to get your family and friends to contribute as well. Please go ahead and learn more here: www.getcoinstash.com