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.
Shopping For Homes? 5 Low Down Payment Options You Need To Consider
Home prices are hitting new highs so lots of folks are looking to snag an affordable home before it’s too late.
Here’s where a variety of low down payment options come in handy. But beware! They could come with a high price tag in terms of interests rates. Here are five you need to know.
(Here’s a comprehensive list by state.)
1. New American Funding
One of the features the lender offers is the flexibility for payment depending on the life of the mortgage. The buyer may also qualify for reduced rates, and down payments could go as low as 3%.
The Chase DreaMaker plan offers buyers the option to fund their entire down payment from any external sources – be it grants or gifts. It also provides low down payment – touching nearly 3%, and reduced insurance rates.
The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America runs through each request to determine the rates and down payment amount. What’s more, they don’t change any additional fees and your credit score is not tied to your interest rate.
Their Professional Loan plan is targeted specifically at buyers who have the potential for income growth over time. They have the option to provide almost zero down payment if you have a credit score of over 720.
5. Bank of America
4 Things You Should Never Spend Money On
You need to know that understanding the value of money (or the need for savings and investment) is one of life’s biggest lessons. However, understanding all of that isn’t enough, you have to practice it by learning to spend money wisely and carefully.
A big part of financial success is determined by how you spend your money.
“It’s not your salary that makes you rich, it’s your spending habits.”
― Charles A. Jaffe
Trying To Impress People
Trying to impress people is a financially destructive move. If you’re digging into your finances to buy the most expensive cars, gadget, clothes etc. to impress people, when you can’t afford to, then clearly, you’re spending money on the wrong things.
Avoid getting into these situations and set financial goals and ambitions without letting your self-worth be based on impressing people. Always remember your goals!
Avoidable Bank Charges
Have you ever tried adding up all your bank charges in a year before? I tried it, lol.
You have to know that little deductions end up summing up to a whole lot; so you have to avoid these charges as much as possible. You can:
- Use your banks ATM machine for withdrawal to avoid charges
- Ask questions or report any unusual charges to the bank for rectification
Clothing You Would Wear Just Once
Most of us are guilty of buying clothes we wear just once. This could be as a result of a wedding, an event or even fashion trends. There is really nothing wrong with looking stylish, or celebrating with those we care about. But we have to always consider the cost implications because we end up wearing these outfits only once.
Try as much as possible to avoid incurring huge expenses on items you would not use again.
Practice Comparison Buying
I want you to first understand that economical is not synonymous to poor.
- Most people prefer to buy branded products to some alternatives. But then these alternatives are economical and not fake. Going for them will help save more money.
- Also, buying from local market is more economical to buying from some stores.
My point here is not to discourage you from what you’re normally used to, but for you to keep an open mind. Once you realize that the cost of getting some particular products have a strain on you. Practice comparison buying.
The Main Benefits of Being Financially Independent
Being financially independent means different things to different people.
To some, it means retiring and traveling the world, relaxing at home, or doing whatever you love.
For others, it means having the financial stability to have at your back, while you continue your career or business.
In general, financial independence is defined as when your passive income is higher than your living expenses. Here’s the issue though…
It can be a moving target.
You need different levels of income at different points in your life. Let me explain
How Much Money Do I Need?
If you are 18 years old and have no debts, are healthy, and can get by with little, the amount of income you actually need to get by is very low.
Eventually, you might get married, have a family, a dog, etc. So, the income you need to sustain this is a lot higher.
Then, the kids move out and you downsize. You need a lot less again.
Then you start to get older and you find your health failing you. Your costs will go up once again.
So, at a minimum, I’ve already outlined 4 different points in your life where your “financial independence number” will go up or down.
Regardless of the difficulty in calculating exactly how much you’ll need, there still are a lot of benefits to strive for financial independence. Let’s take a look at those.
Freedom of Choice
I already alluded to it a bit, but the biggest benefit to financial independence is freedom.
As soon as your passive income is higher than your wages, you’ll find that you don’t need that job. You can continue to work, but you don’t have to. So, all the stress is gone.
Same goes if you’re a business owner. You can continue to grow your business if you want, but you don’t need to.
You could opt to walk away from it and do something else entirely. It allows you could leave the high paying job and find a job that is more rewarding.
Whatever you choose to do, it’s because you’ve achieved Financial Independence.
You’ll Be Able to Make More Money
You can never unlock your true potential as long as you are a slave to your job or business. It’s hard to pursue other opportunities when you can’t afford to leave your job.
As an employee, you can earn money by working more, getting a raise, or getting better positions. But, you are actually very limited because most of your time is dedicated to the job.
And that brings us to the heart of financial independence – time. The most valuable commodity is time, and if your time is spent working for someone else, it isn’t spent finding new opportunities for growth.
By growing your passive income to the point where you don’t have to work anymore, you can unlock that time and harness all of your intelligence and creative power to pursue more valuable endeavors.
You’ll Actually Get to Retire
If you haven’t realized it yet, Social Security is going to go broke, pensions can disappear overnight, and even state or municipal government benefits can be slashed to pennies on the dollar.
While some people will be able to retire with these, we should not depend on them entirely. Doing so will make it far less likely that you’ll have the security you need or want in retirement.
But, retirement isn’t something many of us worry about until it’s far too late. We don’t save or prepare, then find ourselves unable to retire.
So many people work until they are no longer able to work and they are forced to retire. By then, they have no way to actually enjoy any of their ‘retirement.’
If you are financially independent at a young age, you are kind of already retired. Additionally, you can continue to work and just save everything to get to a point where you are truly prepared for retirement.
You might even be able to afford to retire early and enjoy your later years to their full potential.
Passive Income is Like Unemployment Insurance
Unemployment insurance covers only a portion of your lost wages. But, if your passive income is already at or above your wages, then it’s like a really good insurance policy.
The fact is that many industries are changing and advancing, which is leaving its older workers behind. Having financial independence means that you’ve got something to fall back on and can take your time to find new work without worrying.
You Can Plan
A lot of people never plan ahead. While they might plan their next vacation, wedding, or Black Friday shopping spree, most people aren’t planning for their finances next month let alone 20 years from now.
A lot of that comes from the belief that it’s impossible to get ahead, be successful, wealthy, and secure. Planning ahead would just be depressing.
But, if you work to attain financial independence, planning for the future becomes fun. Who doesn’t want to think about the future when the world is your oyster?
You’ll Be Less Stressed
Money is one of the leading causes of worry and stress in our society and in most households.
Having more passive income can help with your finances, allowing you to enjoy the company of your spouse and children. It can allow your family to actually enjoy each other rather than always being stressed over paying bills.
Why Aren’t You Chasing F.I.?
What is holding you back from pursuing financial independence? Comment below.
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