Being a millennial may look like it’s not all that hard, but this particular generation is dealing with some of the most stressful times in humanity. With competition at an all-time high, and everyone trying to stay one step ahead of the curve, millennials often lose themselves in their work and neglect important things like maintaining a natural sleep cycle, eating healthy, and most importantly, keeping their finances stable.
Not surprisingly enough, surveys have shown that millennials are indeed worried about their finances and are aware of the implications of not paying attention to them. However, like the majority of the population, most of them just don’t know where and how to start. Here’s a quick guide to help any millennial kickstart their financial planning journey.
Detach Your Life From Your Paycheck: Have you ever felt that your productivity and mood changes as each payday comes and goes? You may be guilty of living by the paycheck. Many millennials end up planning their time and energy depending on how long it takes to get their next salary. With no specific savings or investment goals, this often leads to a dreadful last few days of every month. Imagine living the rest of your life like that. You probably don’t like the sound of that, and you rightfully shouldn’t.
Start setting aside a small amount every month till you have at least three month’s worth of salary lying in your account. Why? So that the next time you need money to keep yourself happy, you won’t have to count the days until your employers hand out your monthly wages. And to top that off, your savings account is now generating interest that your previous account balance never could.
Start Retirement Planning Early: Perhaps the best piece of advice you can get right now. The faster you start thinking about your finances after retirement, the better your retired life will be. The reasons are simple, you get more time to save more money and more time to make better investments. If all goes well, you might even be able to retire a lot earlier than you thought would.
Don’t Be Too Conservative: Experts have noticed that millennials who do explore financial planning are also quite conservative when it comes to investing in the market. The reason they think this is happening is because millennials have seen dramatic fluctuations in the market in their time, while the previous generation was more willing to invest as they saw a relatively steadier growth.
Track Your Expenses: Before you go ahead and lose yourself in all the technicalities and jargon associated with investing, there’s one simple thing you can do that can drastically change the way you look at your finances; expense tracking. Believe it or not, while this task seems mundane and tedious, the amount of value it brings to your life is tremendous.
Not only do you get a clear view of how much you need to make in order to live comfortably, you also get to pinpoint expenses that are unnecessary and can easily cut them out in the future. Just doing this will make you super-conscientious about what happens to all the money you make.
Maximize Your Tax Deductions: As a young working professional, there are enough investment avenues that allow you to reduce the tax burden that you bear. If you’re employed, make sure your PF account is set up and running. Set up a PPF/NPS as well and deposit money in it regularly to deduct that amount from your taxable income.
You can also get tax cuts on expenses like rent if you are residing in a rented home. While it’s impractical to list all the various ways you can save on paying tax, you can always take the help of a certified financial planner to help you better understand your tax liability and keep it to a minimum.
Don’t Forget Insurance: While everything may be going great right now, you never know when you might be in a situation where you need instant access to a large number of funds. As a millennial, you probably haven’t worked long enough to amass such capital. The best alternative for you is to opt for insurance plans that give you as much cover as possible. Don’t pick insurance based solely on the premium you pay. Cheaper insurance schemes have tons of constraints and are often ill-equipped to provide the cover you really need.