Saving money can be a challenging feat. This is especially true for millennials who are only just starting out with their career. Worse, they are deluged by one temptation after another, no thanks to social media and all the conveniences available in the modern world. This is not to mention the fact that the cost of living keeps increasing with time. After taking account of the monthly condo leasing payment, utility bills and grocery expenses, it’s easy to think that there is nothing left for anything else. But don’t lose hope just yet. Channel the optimist in you and take control of your situation. You will find this millennials’ guide to saving helpful.
Put an end to wasteful spending
To be able to take control of your finances, you need to be honest with yourself.
Take the time to do a thorough evaluation of your spending habits. Figure out where your weaknesses lie. Do you go overboard with your shopping spree. What is causing it? Are you susceptible to the temptation of buying the latest fashion trends? Figure out the difference between your wants and needs, and learn to compartmentalize them accordingly. It goes without saying that you should cut back on the wants to give way to the needs. You can forego that lovely dress, but you definitely must pay the bills.
Manage your stress levels
One of the things that make people susceptible to overspending is their stress levels. When you are feeling out of it, you may compensate by engaging in retail therapy, wining and dining, binge drinking, and other such expensive habits. Be willing to figure out your pain points and learn to address them in healthy ways. Again, you must be honest with yourself. You should also take the root of your stress into account. If need be, you may consider shifting careers so you can find one that won’t take too much toll on you.
Rely on technology
Put your love of gadgets to good use. Technologically-savvy individuals stand to benefit from apps designed to help manage finances. The mobile app Clarity Money, for one, can help you take stock of your unhealthy spending habits. It can organize your expenses from many different accounts into a single platform. It can even close inactive subscriptions for you, saving you both time and money. You may also explore your options with the mobile apps Stash and Digit. These programs will study your income, spending patterns, and accounts, and will then recommend opportunities for monthly savings. These apps can also directly transfer your money to a savings account.
Tailor general financial advice to your situation
Know that the financial advice provided by financial experts are not a be-all and end-all solution. This is especially true for their recommended percentages. Financial gurus may recommend that you allot 35% of your paycheck for rental expenses and 15% for transportation costs. This may not always be the best solution, especially if you live in the city. Everyday expenses for Uber or taxi rides can balloon out of proportion. The same thing goes if you own a car, what with the heavy traffic and increasing fuel prices. You can solve this by moving to a home closer to your place of work. This way, you could decrease your transportation expenses to a measly 5%, then allot the 10% to paying for a comfortable condo for rent in Metro Manila. Not only will you be able to elevate your quality of living, you will also be able to spare yourself the everyday stress. You get to save on time as well!
Get a side job
You can use the extra time you save from avoiding traffic to earn extra on the side. Technology and modern platforms have given way to many new earning opportunities. These opportunities can be so promising, many end up leaving their jobs to go freelancing full time. Take a look at job marketplaces like Upwork and OnlineJobs.ph to explore your options.
Pay yourself first
Always set aside at least 15% for savings every month. This should be nonnegotiable. Think of it as paying yourself first. You should set aside an emergency fund that amounts to six months of living expenses. This way, you can lose your job and not fall into uncontrollable debt. This will also buy you time to pivot to better career opportunities. The rest of your savings should go to investment instruments that will help you grow your money.
Choose only low-interest credit cards
When managed well, credit cards do not have to be a liability. They offer a way to build your credit history. This will be the basis for loans on bigger investments, like a condo, house or car. Just make sure you pay your credit card bills on time, and that you shop for the lowest rates. You must also keep yourself informed of rebates and bonuses, so you can use them to pay for your flights and grocery shopping. This is additional savings for you!
Get yourself a roommate
Living independently while you are young can take a strain on your finances. Living expenses are always going up, and opportunities for career growth may not alway catch up. Taking a roommate can help you address this. Having someone to share your rental payments with can cut a huge chunk off your monthly budget. Just make sure you vet your roommate well enough so she or he does not end up stressing you out. She or he has to be someone you can live harmoniously with.
Follow a finance blog
The more you know about a thing, the more you can control it. The same holds true for your finances. The more you learn about available financial instruments, the more you will be able to take control of your finances. You will even learn to grow your money! One of the ways you can feed your knowledge is by following relevant blogs. Find a financial guru you find engaging. This way, you can get hooked. You will also find everyday reading a pleasure.
Avoid the trap of social comparisons
Millennials like to hang out on social media, keeping a close eye on what their friends and peers are up to. This can cause young people to compare their own progress with that of their peers’. This then leads to a desire to paint a picture of a life that is all bright and sunny, engaging in unnecessary spending to create such appearances. Do not fall into the trap. Know that we all have paces of our own, and do not have to keep up with anyone. More so, wasting your resources can only further stagnate your growth. It’s better to work toward creating a life you can be proud of than faking it. At the end of the day, you have yourself to account to. It’s best to keep it real.
Taking control of your finances will empower you. It will also ensure that you keep enjoying the finer things in life, like condo renting in the Philippines. Keep at it, and remember to enjoy the ride!