Saying that millennials are facing much harsher financial times than previous generations is nothing new. With a lot of struggles with student debts and paying stellar rent, it’s hard to think about saving money or investing. However, you don’t have to sacrifice simple luxuries and having fun in order to keep your finances healthy. With a couple of habit changes and smart ideas, you can get yourself on track without resorting to austerity. Read on to learn more.
Reconsider your habits and budget
If you feel like you don’t have your finances under control, it is time to sit down and reconsider everything. Firstly, make sure you have a budget. Always keep track of your earnings and spendings and calculate future expenses to stay afloat. While examining your spendings, you will also find what needs to be changed. If you have any bad financial habits, now is the time to change them. See which expenses you can cut back on, make sure you buy things when they are on sale, watch out for vouchers and coupons that can save you a few bucks – it might not seem much, but in time, it can add up. For example, one of your larger expenses is potentially transportation. Look up whether there are any kinds of discounts you can take advantage of, or consider talking with your coworkers and carpooling to work.
Besides cutting down on your expenses, create a habit of saving: make sure you put aside at least a small amount each month into a separate account. You won’t notice that 10% missing at the time, while the benefits are too great to ignore. Soon, you will have a safety net in the form of savings that you might even end up investing in your future. Furthermore, if you’re a student, you should take advantage of the benefits student accounts offer. Many banks have special deals for students and lower fees in many cases.
Additional income source
An additional source of income is always welcome, regardless of your salary. Freelance writing, creating your own blog, selling some things that you don’t need anymore, doing a few paid surveys or tutoring online are just some of the numerous options you have available wherever you are in the world. The best thing about these side-jobs is that you can work on them whenever you have time, and how much you make depends on how much time and effort you put into them.
If you are ambitious, another source of additional income can even be starting your own small business. Maybe you’ve always had a hobby that could bring you some profit – so, why not try to actually make it work and find people who are interested in what you make? If you find a reliable partner, this can be done on the side and it won’t interfere with your schedule that much. Just make sure you present your ‘products’ in the best light and as professionally as possible: take high-quality pictures, create flyers or brochures and place them in promotional displays, and share your creations on social media. You might even end up turning this into a full-time job.
Usually, it is impossible to completely avoid debt. However, not all debts are created equal. Taking out a loan in order to invest the money in something that will bring you back value is what you should do, as spending the borrowed money on holidays and assets that won’t bring you any profit will make it hard to pay it back, which can have you spiral into other loans and further debt. So, steer clear of such “toxic” debt and make sure you always keep track of your credit score so that you don’t get unpleasantly surprised in the end.
No one said keeping your finances on track is a walk in the park. However, you can certainly improve your current situation if you take some of the aforementioned tips seriously and implement them in your life. Good luck!
Mike is an Australian IT support professional. He’s working with companies that outsource their IT maintenance. He often writes about technology, business and marketing and is a regular contributor on several sites.