Millennials make up approximately 25% of the total population in the United States and they are now larger than the Baby Boomer generation.
This has welcomed a new trend—increased spending. The spending power of Millennials is estimated to reach a whopping $3.39 trillion by the end of 2018. A higher education level and more spending power haven’t yet translated into financial literacy.
As financial literacy is not taught in schools, most individuals grow up having no idea of investing and saving options. Most millennials will soon have to start making life decisions—whether it is to buy a home or start a family.
They need to find a way to overcome mounting student debt, skyrocketing rents, a saturated job market, and stagnant wages, while saving enough for retirement.
Sounds tough? Sure. But you need not worry. Here are six financial tips that will help millennials save a few bucks—all the while maintaining financial discipline.
DIY: How To Improve Your Personal Finances
Even if you’re not looking for a property this exact second, you always want to be improving your position.
So, focus on the downtime to improve your finances, get your debt squared away, and put yourself in a better position when you are ready to buy!
It’s important to be sure of your financial position before you buy a property because you might find it’s harder to get that property than you would have originally thought.
Here are a few ways to quickly improve your finances to help you save more, pay down more debt, and qualify for better loans.
One of the most common reasons that people struggle financially is because they simply don’t pay attention to what is going on in their own financial life. If you are not paying attention, you can’t hope to know what is going on and therefore know how to improve matters.
So, the first item on your list is to start paying attention to your finances!
When I’m working on a project, I’m laser-focused on the budget, the details, the costs, etc. But, sometimes in my personal life, I let this slide.
The reality is, when we do have a budget and focus on sticking to it, our bank account balances grow so much faster than when we aren’t using one.
I love to eat out, and my wife loves to buy small things around the house. One day, we looked back over the previous year of spending and found we each averaged over $1,000 per month on our hobbies!
By pulling back a little in each area, we were able to save over $1,000 per month but still do the things we enjoyed.
So, start by having a budget!
Even if you are financially well off and can afford most of what you want, by budgeting for the items and spreading the costs out over several months, you’ll find that you buy less, spend less, and save more.
Also, if you budget to pay down certain debts faster, you’ll see those balances dramatically drop!
So, do not overlook the importance of a family budget.
Save On Other Purchases
There might be a number of other big purchases you need to make before you get hold of your next property, and it is a good idea to make sure that you are only spending as much on those as absolutely necessary.
For any big ticket items, we actually start searching for them months or even a year in advance. For example, let’s consider kitchen appliances.
As you know, a full set of appliances can easily cost $5,000-$10,000 if you are getting high-end products. It includes a fridge, double oven, gas cooktop, microwave/fan, and dishwasher.
The first thing we did was go to the store and decide on two or three brands, styles and product lines we wanted. It’s hard to compare prices unless you are looking at similar products between stores.
Then, for months we’ll watch these items and their prices. Occasionally there will be sales and by tracking the pricing all year, we know which sales are worth getting or not. When we feel we are getting the best price, we’ll buy.
And by doing that, we can easily save $500-$1,000 or even more.
We did something similar with our TV, computer monitors, etc. Basically, anything that is currently working that we want to upgrade. Over the course of a year, we are saving thousands of dollars.
You might also use a money saving app to help.
Saving money in all these places will make an enormous difference when it comes to saving for your next down-payment
Pay Down Debt
With all the money you are saving by budgeting and by planning out major purchases, you might want to use some of it to pay down debt.
You’ll have to decide if it’s better to pay down debt or have a larger down payment because both will hold you back on your next purchase.
But, generally, paying down $1/month in debt is worth about $3/month in income. At least, as far as loans are concerned.
If you do decide to work on paying down your debt, I fully detail a unique debt pay down method to get you into your next rental property faster.
Increase Your Income
Most people just focus on debt, but the reality is you can only cut your expenses so much.
Income, on the other hand, has unlimited potential. So, why not focus on growing your income?
Increasing your monthly income can be done in a number of passive and active ways, and it is worth looking into as many of these as you can to find the right one for you. I outline a number of ways to increase your income in this article on how to earn $10,000 per month.
While earning $10,000 per month in side-income might seem a long way off, it’s important to start! Even if you can earn an extra $500 month now, and grow it slowly over time, it’s worth it!.
Don’t Focus on Just One Thing
As I mentioned already, focusing on just budgeting, or debt paydown can be detrimental to your overall financial goals. It’s important to combine a number of different things into an overall strategy, which includes budgeting, debt paydown, and increasing your income.
If You Had Invested $1000 In Apple In 1980, Here’s How Much You’d Have Now
Apple – on Thursday – lost its $1 trillion valuation for a short time after its shares dropped 7% following a weak outlook.
Despite the drop and weak outlook, Apple’s stock is the top choice of most investors and analysts.
And, if past returns are anything to go by, investors can still expect handsome returns from this 40-year-old company.
Apple’s stock – then and now
Talking of the past performance, those who invested in Apple in its early days would have made a fortune by now provided they were not tempted to sell their stock somewhere in between.
According to the calculations by CNBC, $1000 invested in Apple’s IPO in December 1980, would be worth over $500,000 now. The calculations include price appreciation and dividends.
Apple was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, with Wayne leaving the company just weeks later.
Apple’s first customer was The Byte Shop, a Bay Area computer store, which ordered 50 Apple I computers. Jobs took a $15,000 loan to complete the contract. In June of the next year, Apple released the Apple II.
Apple went public in December 1980 offering 4.6 million shares at $22 each. The IPO was well received, and the stock closed 30% higher on the opening day.
Currently, Apple’s stock is trading around $210.
Another interesting fact about the IPO was it created over 300 millionaires in a single day. According to EDN, the IPO created “more millionaires than any company in history had produced.”
Many of those millionaires were Apple employees, including Jobs who made more than $200 million.
A trillion dollar company now
Fast forward to 2018, Apple in August became the first public U.S. company to hit a $1 trillion market cap. Apple’s journey, however, hasn’t been smooth.
It was on the verge of bankruptcy in 1997, but somehow, Jobs managed to steer the company from those days along with revolutionizing the technology market with products like the iPod and iPhone.
Apple now has $237.1 billion in cash on hand. In the last quarter, the company reported $243.7 billion cash in hand.
Apple’s cash holding has always lead to M&A speculations. Though the company keeps on buying smaller companies from time to time, it lately spent its cash on content creation, emerging markets and creating jobs in the U.S.
Earlier this year, Apple even said that it would contribute $350 billion to the U.S. over the next five years.
Apple’s contribution will partly be in the form of taxes on the cash that it plans to bring back from overseas.
Apple also committed to creating 20,000 new jobs in the U.S., and a new campus as well.
What to expect now?
Apple, on Thursday, reported that its revenue jumped by 20% to $62.9 billion year-on-year, while profits rose by 31% to $14.1 billion. The increase in revenue despite relatively flat sales can be attributed to Apple’s strategy of charging more for its phone.
However, Apple’s stock dropped after the company revealed that it would no longer reveal the number of units sold.
Investors took this as a possible hint of weaker sales in the coming months. Apple, on the other hand, defended its decision, saying the numbers are now not a good indicator of Apple’s financial position.
“I can reassure that it is our objective to grow unit sales for every product category that we have,” Apple’s CFO Luca Maestri said during the earnings call. “A unit of sale is less relevant today than it was in the past.”
Apple also provided a disappointing forecast for the holiday quarter. For the quarter ending 31 December, the company expects sales of $89 billion to $93 billion.
Wall Street is expecting sales of $93 billion. In the same quarter last year, Apple posted sales of $88.3 billion.
Defending the not so encouraging forecast, CEO Tim Cook said the company is facing “macroeconomic weakness in some of the emerging markets” like Turkey, India, Brazil and Russia. Cook also partly blamed currency fluctuation.
Further, Maestri added that Apple is facing some supply uncertainty for its latest products.
Apple depends on China for its production needs, but the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China has led to some uncertainty over Apple’s performance.
Though so far Apple products have been spared from tariffs, if the tension escalates, Apple products could get dragged in.
Cook, however, is optimistic that the nations will resolve the disputes soon.
How To NOT Go Broke In College: 5 Money Tips For Surviving Your Freshman Year
With college freshmen starting their programs this month, budgeting and managing debts becomes all the more important.
For many freshmen, this probably is the first time they’re handling money. From credit cards to insurance plans, here are five money choices that will save you time and money in college.
1. Keep Your Finances Mobile
It’s simple—using your phone to keep tabs on your savings and expenses can show you exactly where you’re over-spending and where you can cut down expenses.
With many online banking platforms mushrooming today, there’s no excuse for ditching a savings account. Link your savings account to an app like Level, Saved Plus, or Mint that will monitor your finances.
2. Be Smart About Textbooks And Materials
The average student burns nearly $1,200 every year on textbooks. But here’s where many miss out. Social media groups are a goldmine for finding study partners to share notes and books with. Another alternative is to find platforms where you can buy used books or e-books.
3. Your Student ID Can Win You Discounts (And Freebies!)
Nearly most electronic brands roll out promotional offers for students and you don’t have to shell out the full price—thanks to discounts and cheap financing options for college students.
4. Snag Cheap Travel Fares
Travel platforms like Amtrak offer discounts of up to 15% off their regular ticket price for students across the year. Other state and city-based transport services are also popular for their student-friendly plans.
If you’re travelling internationally and looking for a good deal, StudentUniverse offers a list of flight and hotel options, and other travel deals that you can check out.
5. Use Your Credit Responsibly
When you’re starting out as a freshman, you’re likely to be bombarded with a bunch of credit card booths that dish out everything from cash back to freebies.
While it might be tempting to get a credit card for getting those seemingly free stuff, read between the lines and check for fees, maintenance charges, interest rates—everything.
If the offer comes packed with additional expenses that could eat into your student budget, it’s best to avoid taking it up.