The much maligned Millennial Generation is judged harshly by some financial critics. Not only does the group draw disapproval for its spending habits, but detractors also look down on Millennials’ saving success – or lack of it. The two financial concerns are closely related, so the spending pressure facing Millennials may actually be the root cause of the generation’s slow savings rate.
Struggling with the high cost of rent, lingering student debt, and stagnant wage growth, Millennials are caught in a swirling storm of financial uncertainty. For many members of the generation, full-time work doesn’t guarantee enough income to regularly put by cash. Though these young workers risk falling behind on achieving their financial goals and creating tough conditions decades from now, as they near retirement, there’s only so much money to go ’round, and daily spending priorities win out.
Keeping Costs Low to Boost Personal Savings
Like other generations beset with financial challenges, Millennials are finding ways to cope with tough economic conditions. Members of the generation are using these and other thrifty hacks to cut costs and carve savings from their personal budgets.
1. Find That Surplus – Irrespective of your income level, reducing spending can help you find the surplus income needed to save more. You won’t maximise savings until you balance you budget, so the first step toward saving more money is taking a close look at your spending habits.
Does a particular spending weakness stand out in your budget (shopping, trips to the pub, technology, etc.)? Are you careless with day-to-day spending, wasting money on things you don’t really need? Is your credit card balance on the way up, or on the way down? Answering these and other tough questions about your finances can help you find ways to reduce unnecessary spending and generate surplus funds to put by.
2. Manage Your Workday Spending – You spend plenty of money having a house or flat to come home too, but it’s also easy to overspend while you’re away. Transport to work and other daily job-related expenses can drag down your budget, without adding to your quality of life.
Taking advantage of railcard discounts can help reduce commuting costs, and your employer may offer programs to help with the expense. Millennials may also be eligible to participate in the Cycle to Work Scheme, which provides financial incentives for workers committed to peddle power. To qualify, your employer must be signed up for the scheme, giving you access to salary sacrifice cash for a bike and equipment, which may provide tax breaks.
Another expensive daily outlay vexing millennial budgets is the cost of buying lunch. Though the ritual can help break up your workday and bring variety to your diet, relying on restaurants and takeaway can also ruin your weekly spending budget. For immediate savings, start making your lunch the night before, so it’s ready in the morning, when you are. Or plan your meals so leftovers are available to pack for midday lunches at work.
3. Use Cost-Effective Finance – Spending discipline leaves more money in your bank account, where it belongs, but the price you pay for goods and services is only part of their true cost. Each time you use your credit card, you risk running up interest charges and fees, which adds to the sales price of everything you buy with revolving credit. If you pay off your entire balance each month, finance fees aren’t an issue, but if you carry-over charges from month to month, there may be better ways for you to make credit purchases.
When unexpected expenses arise between paychecks, short-term loans can keep you afloat, until your next payday. Lenders charge interest for access to the fast cash, which must be repaid within weeks. Compared to building credit card balances, which may be subject to double-digit interest rates, leaning on a short-term loan may be the most cost-effective way to cover pop-up spending demands. Featured lenders share details about various loan options online.
Each generation responds to unique financial challenges, devising ways to handle expenses and advance their monetary goals. For Millennials, high prices, expensive housing, student debt, and stagnant wage growth represent a few of the obstacles, preventing the generation from saving for the future. Though they may be off to a slow start, Millennials are using the above disciplines and other thrifty moves to trim spending and build personal reserves.