Millennial Finance: Getting Ahead

Christopher Carter

Millennials, they say you will save the world but right now it seems you can’t even fix your own finances. This generation is not saving for retirement, spending more than it earns and is afraid of the risk involved with investing in stocks. 

According to the Wall Street Journal and Pew Research Center analysis, millennials are now the the largest generation in the American workforce. Here’s advice from the professionals on how to handle your money.

1. Don’t spend more than you earn. A majority of millennials already have student and auto loans to deal with; do not rack up credit card debt as well. Rachel Ritlop, SISU Programs founder, suggests creating a budget for yourself, saving for things you want and, when using a credit card, making sure you can pay off the balance within a month. 

2. Start saving for retirement. It’s never too early and, with compound interest, the earlier you start the better. Ritlop said, “My two personal favorite ways to save for retirement (there are more): Roth IRA and a 401k. A 401k program is typically through your place of employment. Find out if your company has a matching program, you should be putting in as much money as they will match (Hello free money!).”

3. Don’t be afraid of stocks and investments. CNBC, in reference to a survey, finds that only 26 percent of people under the age of 30 have investments in the stock market. On Monday, the stock market took a bit of a scary downturn with the Dow Jones industrial average plummeting 1,000 points, which may be a little scary to people who don’t know much about stock. However, CNBC said the dip is good news because you can get more “bang for your buck” when you buy low. 

It’s an intimidating world but play it smart and you’ll do just fine.