We Millennials are overindulged. We can do practically anything from our fingertips, including ordering any item in the world we desire. However, as Spiderman’s uncle wisely said, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” We need to reclaim our financial accountabilities. If we don’t, who knows what consequences will derive from our monetary-carelessness.
1. Learn self-control
I am so lucky my parents educated me how to be disciplined in life and with my money, which I hope yours’ did too. If not, then you need to learn it now! Having self-control with your finances is all about delaying your gratification and understanding to never spend more than you have. A lot of young adults get themselves in trouble by spending money they don’t have via a credit card. Do you really want to pay interest (extra money) on things you do not need right away?
2. Realize how you spend money
Budgeting is the name of the game—know exactly where your money is going, from your typical coffee and shopping expenses. Acknowledging spending habits will allow you to reexamine how your money should be allocated and what steps need to be taken to make a change.
3. Think about retirement now
Even though we are young, we need to start saving for when we are older now. It is much wiser to start a 401K (or similar retirement funds) when you start your first job, than waiting till you’re in your 30’s.
4. Understand taxes
Learn all the different forms of taxes. Taxes come in all different shapes and sizes: one essential tax to realize is income tax. You need to learn how to calculate this tax into your starting salary to know whether or not you will be able to meet your financial goals and responsibilities.
There are many online calculators, such as Paycheck City, that can assist you.
To learn more about taxes, go to Investopedia’s Income Tax Guide!
5. Save. Save. Save.
Do yourself a favor and pay yourself when you get paid—what I mean is: save 10% of every dollar you make. For an example, if you make a $100 dollars then automatically put $10 into your savings. A savings account is key to financial stability for it acts as a safety net for if (or when) situations get really tough.
A recommended book on the importance of saving is The Richest Man in Babylon, by George Clason!
6. Start investing now
Saving does not mean to let all that cash just sit there… invest! There is a misconception investing requires tens of thousands or even millions of dollars, but all you need is a couple hundred bucks to begin. ETFs are good investment strategies for young investors because they give you the ability to diversely participate in the market, at low cost and at tax efficient rates.
To learn more about ETFs, check out Invesco PowerShares’ products and information!
Giving is a significant trait in a budget. Giving allows us to help better the welfare of others. Similarly, tithing is a form of giving. It is a practice of obedience of giving back to God what is His. Traditionally, tithing as been standardized as 10% of your income, but I recommend praying and asking God to guide you in your tithing and giving amounts.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 – The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
7 ¾. Be grateful
Being thankful for what you’ve been giving is a great way to live life. Don’t be envious of others’ possessions. An image to help you think more positively about what you have is to look at your life as a bowl. Focus on your bowl. What do you have in your bowl? Be thankful for what you have in your bowl, and do not compare objects in your bowl to what others have in theirs.
Psalm 28:7 – The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.
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