Millennials are the generation born between 1981 and 1996. If you were born within that time frame, you likely grew up with cable TV, cell phones, and the internet. You rest comfortably in between your Boomer generation parents and your younger, Gen Z peers. And while you’ve probably been criticized for being lazy and entitled at some point, your generation has had its fair share of unique money challenges compared to other generations.
Currently, you’re facing:
- Skyrocketing housing costs, over 20% of Millennials think they will be forever renters.
- Student loan debt averaging between $20,000-$40,000.
- 34% less wealth than previous generations.
Add in rising inflation and interest rates, and making any progress on your financial goals seems even more difficult than before. Even though 80% of adults report “doing okay financially”, Millennials are lagging behind previous generations.
We can both sympathize and empathize with Millennials because we’re one of you. We’re not your dad’s stuffy financial advisors — rather, we’re young, relatable, and understanding of the financial mountains you’re facing. We hope to not only help you overcome those challenges but help you thrive along the way.
We’ve had the privilege of working with many Millennials in our Boise office, most of whom are tech wizards who have taught us a thing or two. We enjoy working with and educating individuals of all ages and backgrounds — if you’re in the Millennial generation, this is a great place to start your financial journey.
Why is Financial Planning Important for Millennials?
Having a clear strategy for your money makes managing it and reaching your goals easier, even during challenging economic conditions. When creating a financial plan, factor in your unique challenges and create a plan that suits your lifestyle, values, and aspirations. While income and spending habits are highly individualized, here are some ways that Millennials can start taking control of their money goals today.
Budgeting for Millennials
Budgeting may feel like a basic suggestion but it’s a starting point for a reason. Having a plan for your money is key to making it work for you. A budget is essentially tracking your income and expenses — you need to know where your money is going before you can make any adjustments. Once you’ve tracked all your income and expenses, here are your next budgeting steps:
1. Set Goals and Priorities
Everyone has fixed expenses such as rent, food, utilities, etc. Beyond those basic necessities, you get to decide what your financial goals and priorities are. By having specific targets to hit, you can be purposeful with your spending. Whether you want to retire early or take a year off to travel around the world, a financial strategy and spending plan will help you reach those goals.
2. Evaluate Expenses
While quitting your $6 latte habit may not break your budget — those small purchases can eat away at your ability to achieve your bigger financial goals. When you can see where your money is going each month, you get to decide which expenses suit your lifestyle and values. If grabbing coffee and saying hi to your favorite barista is a highlight of your morning, maybe you should leave room for that in your budget.
3. Build an Emergency Fund
Whether it’s a car repair or a medical bill, an emergency fund can help keep you on track when unexpected expenses arise. Having an account specifically for these financial storms will protect you from using debt or slowing down your progress on other financial goals. Additionally, consider keeping your emergency fund in a high-yield savings account. You will earn interest on the balance and with it being outside of your regular checking and savings account, reduces your chances of spending it when it’s not a true emergency (more on these accounts below).
Saving For the Future
Regular saving habits can help you achieve your long-term goals. Staying consistent is the key to watching your savings grow over time. Your future self will thank you for the financial security you’ve built. Here’s how to start getting into the habit of saving money:
1. Pay Yourself First
It may seem counterintuitive to set aside money before all your bills are paid, but prioritizing savings means that you are valuing your financial future. Even if money is tight, small amounts add up over time. It will also help prevent you from spending everything you earn.
2. Automate Your Savings
Automating the process is the easiest way to save. It removes the tendency to save after you’ve spent. You know what they say, “Out of sight, out of mind.” Check if your employer offers split direct deposits, where you can deposit portions of your paycheck to different accounts. If not, set your own deposits on paydays.
3. Use a High-Yield Savings Account
A high-yield savings account is a federally insured savings account that offers a high annual percentage yield (APY). This rate is typically much higher than a traditional savings account. This type of account is a great place to store long-term savings, like an emergency fund or a down payment on a home. You get to earn better than average interest and keep your savings separate from your everyday expenses.
Investing your money can help it grow at a faster rate, working to combat inflation and increasing your wealth over time. Starting to invest as early as possible can help you harness the power of compound interest and build the financial future you’ve been hoping for. Let’s focus on some basics for investing:
1. Take Advantage of Employer Programs
Both 401k and HSA accounts often come with employer matching offers as part of their benefits package. If you have access to these or other employer-sponsored retirement accounts, you should take full advantage of them. Tax-assisted accounts are just one of the ways millennials can diversify their investments.
2. Have a Long Term Strategy
Investing is a long game. Rather than making emotional decisions based on headlines, commit to time and patience. Marketing conditions change daily but since the 1970’s the stock market’s average return rate has been around 10%. There are a variety of investment options and strategies, which can be overwhelming. At Five Pine Wealth Management, we can help you develop a strategy specific to your needs and personal financial goals.
3. Get the Right Professional Advice
Financial advice for Millennials should not be found on TikTok or any other social media app. Take financial advice from a fiduciary professional who understands your unique goals and needs. We’re different from other financial planners. As fiduciaries, we are required to work in your best interest, not ours. We are also fee-only, which means we aren’t selling you on specific stocks or mutual funds to make a commission. We are driven by client needs, not sales numbers.
Receive Financial Advice Tailored for Millennials
If you’re still feeling overwhelmed or confused about how best to achieve your money goals we invite you to schedule a complimentary meeting with us today. We carry the distinct privilege of being both highly knowledgeable and experienced while maintaining our approachability.
We offer comprehensive financial planning with regular check-ins to ensure you’re reaching your financial goals. We also offer specialized investment and life insurance advice. We’d love to connect with you in one of our five local offices or virtually anywhere in the United States.
Give us a call at 877.333.1015, email us at email@example.com, or visit our website to learn more about what it’s like to work with us.