By 2025, Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce. This generation — composed mostly of twenty- and thirty-something children of Baby Boomers — is unique in that it faces the most uncertain economic future of any generation since the Great Depression.
But thanks to factors like massive student debt and a fondness for immediate gratification over long-term savings, Millennials also have a reputation of succumbing to some avoidable mistakes when it comes to finances.
Whether you’re a Millennial or not, be aware of the following six behaviors before they get in the way of your financial goals:
- Assuming too much credit card debt on too many cards. Building a credit history is an important step to obtaining a mortgage, car loan or apartment. But letting it get out of control can be risky. Stick to a couple of major cards with reasonable terms.
- Not maintaining a rainy-day or emergency fund. A rainy-day fund saves you when there’s an unexpected car repair or plumbing backup — a short-term blip. An emergency fund, however, will get you through a job loss, an injury or a pandemic. Most experts recommend stashing away three to six months of living expenses to create adequate emergency savings.
- Making big splurges without considering the consequences. It can be tempting to treat yourself to the best of the best while you have the cash. But buying too much too soon can set you up for future regret. Strike a balance between what you can live with now and your goals for the future.
- Failing to put away money for retirement. Yes, it may seem far away, and you’d rather use the money to pay for things in the present. But a retirement plan offered by your employer is free money your future self will be grateful for.
- Thinking you can save later. Saving is a habit that’s harder to start as you get older and life gets more expensive. By starting early and living beneath your means, you’ll have more time to build a larger nest egg.
- Not making — and sticking to — a budget. There are three main categories: needs, wants and nice-to-haves. You need to pay your rent or mortgage, but a luxury car would be just that — a luxury. Knowing what you should and shouldn’t be spending your money on is key to a financially secure future.
The road to financial security can be a long one for any generation. But it’s not impossible when you’re committed to making smart money decisions. With smart strategies for tax planning, the knowledgeable CPAs at Magone & Company can help keep you focused on financial success. To learn more, give us a call today: (973) 301-2300.