As a millennial, you are in a different place than other generations. You may have just moved out of mom and dad’s or you may be graduating from college or starting your big kid job. Whatever stage of life you are in, the time to take control of your finances is now. Learning how to manage your finances will lower your stress and give you the ability to achieve your long-term goals. Have you thought about your long-term goals? Do you know what your goals should be? Examples of long-term goals include, paying off that enormous student debt, saving for retirement, buying a house, etc. There’s a lot you have to think about when you’re just starting out. The first step to getting on the right path is creating your monthly, or even yearly, budget.
There are many ways to create and track your budget. The traditional way of using pen and paper can work, but want to know what really sets millennials apart from the other generations? They are addicted to technology. Never thought someone would say that it’s good to be addicted to your phone or computer, right? Since your phone is basically a part of your hand, you can literally have complete control of your finances in the palm of your hand. There are millions of financial apps out there. Plus, you are saving the trees by doing it all digitally!
Marine Bank offers an online tool called Money Manager that will also help your digitally manage your finances. Within Money Manager, you can set up your budget, determine goals and track your expenses. Your Marine Bank accounts will automatically be displayed, but you can also add accounts from other financial institutions. To help your stay on budget, you can set up text or email alerts to notify you about account balances, budget status and more. Money Manager will help you stay on track and can show you which area you are spending the most in to help you determine where to cut back.
When you’re creating your budget, be completely honest with yourself. You need to account for all your expenses in order to have a true budget. An effective budget has two main categories: wants and needs. Your wants are items like eating and drinking out, travel, concert tickets, designer clothes, etc. Your necessities, for example, are rent, groceries, transportation, utilities, credit card bills etc. As mentioned earlier, there are many ways to create a budget. Everyone’s relationship with money is different, so this is not a one style fits all situation. One thing to remember is at the end of each month, take a look at your budget and see if you need to adjust. Find a way that works for you and stick to it.
Do not forget to save!
It is extremely important to incorporate savings into your budget. This allows you to set aside money for emergencies and/or large purchases. Life happens and you need to be prepared when it does. You don’t plan for a car accident or the stove going out, so having an emergency fund will help ease the stress when those unforeseen disasters happen.
Our Common Cents program is an easy way your Marine Bank debit card can help you save. Every time you use your Marine Bank debit card, your purchase will be rounded up to the nearest dollar and the difference will automatically transfer from your checking account into your savings account. How easy is that? Even saving a little at a time, will eventually add up!
Creating a budget gives you the ability to control your money instead of allowing your money to control you. Help yourself save money, get out of debt and reach your financial goals.