In the world of millennials, it often times seems hard to look forward because of the mountain of student loan debt and credit card balances that consume much of a monthly budget.
But the fact is, it is extremely important to look ahead – five, even ten years – because like it or not, time is moving that direction. Having a plan and taking some steps now is better than doing nothing at all.
Here are some things to consider:
- Save For the Future – Put away something now. Anything. Start with $5 or $10, and keep adding to that amount when you can. Or put away a certain percentage of your paycheck, even if it is 1% to start. Automate your savings to make it a more bulletproof part of your budget.
- Start Paying Off Your Student Loans – Even though terms of student loans are often favorable, it still is a loan and it does carry interest. It is important to start paying off as much as possible to get this debt behind you.
- Explore Different Repayment Plans – If your student loans are federal (and most are), you can usually have your payments lowered based on your income. These are called Income-Driven Repayment Plans. All it takes is a call to your loan officer to get this plan set up.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate Your Salary – If you are interviewing for a job and it’s one that you really want, don’t be afraid to negotiate for a salary that you think is fair. A job has to work for both you and your employer, so make sure your needs and expectations are met as well.
- Find Out What’s Realistic to Ask For – Talk to friends, family members, or people you trust, and ask them what is realistic to ask for regarding your salary demands. Then add 10% to this number. Odds are an employer will counter, but the goal is that you can meet somewhere in between.
The world is certainly a different place for millennials than it was for previous generations, but these tips are a good starting point to apply to get your financial life on track.