Fri. Jun 9th, 2023


Millennials shared even more tips everyone should know about money and if you didn’t take notes the first time, you’re gonna wanna grab a pen and paper now. Here’s what they shared:

Oh, and BTW, financial advice isn’t one-size-fits-all. What works for one person may not work for everyone, so it’s important to always keep your own circumstances in mind. When in doubt, talk to a financial adviser.

1. “Top banking tips: 1) Don’t rely on your bank to balance your checkbook. Balance it yourself, and only use your online banking tool as a means to double-check for errors. You never know what’s pending and for how long, so you may think you have more money than you do.”

ABC / Via

“2) Many credit unions have certified financial counselors on staff who can help you build a budget for free. 3) Don’t pay for a checking account. Free checking accounts are out there. There is no sense in paying a monthly fee for anything.”


2. “Never ever sign a financial document if you do not feel you can explain the basic concept(s) of it out loud to another person. We all think we get it but until you can give a quick rundown to another person, you may be overestimating your understanding.”


3. “Don’t lend money to friends — or at least don’t lend it expecting to get it back!”

“And generally, don’t sign a lease with friends, either. You might think you know them but there may be a side of them they haven’t shown you yet. It’s a great way to breed tension and get yourself into a sticky financial situation, even if you’re being responsible with payments yourself.”


4. “KEEP TRACK OF YOUR SPENDING! Balance your checking account and check your credit card balance every few days. Is it fun? No, but you’ll know how much you have and how much you’ve spent, and can potentially avoid overdraft fees or maxing out your credit limit.”

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“If you do so regularly and often, it should only take a little time. And pay off or pay more than the minimum on your credit card every month. If you don’t, those interest rates really wreak havoc on what you owe.”


5. “When buying a house, unless the realtor is a trusted friend, do not use their recommendations for home inspections.”

“Research your own and make sure they’ll be honest and transparent.”


6. “Use a debt calculator to see how much you’ll end up paying if you only pay the minimum. It’s shocking how much of your money goes toward interest and not toward what you originally purchased. Out-of-control finances can ruin your peace of mind and your future.”


7. “Student loans are a very serious game; do not mess with them. They can be very useful but be very careful as they have a proclivity for getting complicated quickly.”

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Don’t wait until your six-month grace period from graduation to start paying on student loans. The interest accrued in those six months will literally destroy you and it won’t stop.”


8. “I teach at a community college and I am AMAZED at how much cheaper the tuition is than that of the state university I attended!”

“I mean, it’s not exactly the ‘true college experience,’ but earning an associate in two years and then transferring for a bachelor’s means saving a LOT of money for your gen-eds! Then, you can focus on major-specific classes at the transfer institution, making that higher tuition more reasonable for the level of expertise you get in upper-level university classes. My college even has free tuition ‘promise’ programs for high school graduates in our service area who maintain a certain GPA, which saves you a few grand a year!”


9. “If you’re going to defer enrollment and take classes somewhere cheaper, make DAMN SURE YOU GET IT IN WRITING SIGNED IN BLOOD that your credits are going to transfer.”

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“Community college isn’t SO cheap that you can pay for classes that won’t count.”



10. “How do you get money for college? WORK YOUR BUTT OFF. Start working as soon as you can (meaning babysitting, house-sitting, mowing lawns, and walking dogs). And save that money!”

“When I was in college, I spent my summers doing shift work at a paper mill —12-hour nights and nearly every weekend. It was exhausting (and dangerous) but I made good money and was able to keep my student loan costs down (I still had them but there were manageable).”


11. “Don’t go to uni/college if you don’t want/need to. I didn’t and I’ve never under-earned compared to my peers who did go to college.”

“I’ve also never had any debt and have lived a very comfortable life compared to those who had huge repayments. A lot of degrees are done ‘for the sake of it’ and the cost to the student is vast and will possibly never be recouped.”


12. “Please, for the love of everything good in this world, remember that credit cards are not free money.”

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“It’s amazing to me how many people think credit is supposed to be free. Credit is a great way to get ahead if used properly, but it’s not free and it has to be paid back. So try not to borrow more than you can pay back.”


13. “A debit card is a smart way to go if you don’t think you have the discipline to pay off a credit card every month.”

“Credit cards can have a few advantages over debit cards though, which are worth considering. But learn the habit of discipline before you ever get a credit card. I have three credit cards. None of them have annual fees and I pay them off every month. On two of them, I earn 2% cash back (sometimes up to 5% for things like gas). That means I get $2 for every $100 I spend with my card. My other card gives me points toward travel rewards or gift cards rather than cash. It’s free money for me.”


14. “Some industries may pay you to train and gain qualifications — we hire people as trainee line mechanics and electricians and cover all of the training costs.”

“The trainees start on around 75% of the base wages of the fully trained line mechanics and after 18–24 months, they’re fully qualified and earning great money. We’ve also just hired a trainee arborist straight from high school who is earning a good wage at age 17.”


15. “There are some ways to be able to afford to buy a home instead of renting. In some parts of the country (like DC), there are good first-time homeowner assistance programs —including grants to cover your down payment, which was the biggest hurdle for me.”

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“These don’t have to be paid until you sell the property (which an appreciation of home value should easily cover). And, you’ll also earn helpful tax credits. If you do this when your income is lower, you’ll qualify for much more money and assistance than you will when you’re more ‘established.’ A mortgage is so much cheaper and more stable than rent, and you can use that property as an income source in the future. After buying my first place and learning all about this in my thirties, it’s my biggest regret to have not learned about all of these opportunities early on!”


Of course, you should always do your research and make sure you can afford the monthly payments before you buy a home. In some cities, it may actually be more affordable to rent an apartment than it is to buy a home once you consider property taxes and insurance. When in doubt, you can always consult with a financial adviser.

16. “Something I think people always screw up is ‘living beyond their means.’ If you can’t afford that holiday without a credit card/loan you probably shouldn’t be taking that holiday.”

“Same goes for a lot of things. (Keep in mind I only earn $30k a year in a part-time job. I’m not overly privileged but I will admit I live comfortably).


17. “Try to have your own bank account without a parent listed on it. I’ve read so many stories about parents just stealing kids’ money because they’re listed as an account holder.”

“As soon as you’re 18, get your own account.”


18. “I did not get my life together until my early thirties when I pulled myself out of $10,000 in credit card debt. Reading Bad with Money by Gaby Dunn changed my financial life. I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who is about to start college to avoid the financial pitfalls of your twenties.”

DC Films / Via

“Another piece of advice is not to let your parents manage your finances once you are in your twenties. Just don’t.”


19. “Make a budget and stick to it. Some people like to have three jars (or three bank accounts) where they keep their money. One-third goes into short-term goals. Another one-third goes into long-term goals. And one-third goes into savings.”


20. “A mortgage is often, if not always, collateralized by the property the loan is being used to buy. Meaning, if you don’t make your loan payments or you file for bankruptcy, the lender (usually a bank) is entitled to take possession of that property to satisfy all or part of the loan, depending on the property value at that time.”


21. “Save (and securely store) seven years’ worth of your tax information, including the returns, W-2s, 1099 forms, etc. My mom taught me this and it saved my ass when I was offered my current job.”

CBC Television / Via

“They weren’t able to prove some of my previous employment info during the background check. Admittedly, there were a few years I worked 6–9 jobs and not all of them were necessarily still around so a phone call was moot. But I was able to scan and send them proof of employment using my saved W-2s. I’m not confident I would have my job if my mom hadn’t taught me that.”


22. “While you’re young and mobile, focus on career development. I chose a lower-paying job but I got into the industry I wanted, while my friend stayed at my previous job to earn more money. But the experience I gained was invaluable.”

“I stayed there for only six months. By the time my friend and I both got our dream jobs in the same company, I was two years ahead of him by seniority. Six months of sacrifice turned into being ahead for two years. That’s a lot of extra pay. These things compound and grow.”


23. “As annoying and far-fetched as it seems to think about, as soon as you get your first full-time job, figure out your retirement savings situation. Like, right away.”

“Even if you start with putting away a super-small amount, have a goal in mind. There are tons of online calculators that can help you figure out how much you should save each month to reach your goal. I reallllly don’t want to work my whole life, so I’ve recently become really on top of it and I wish I started even a few years earlier. If you have a job with a pension, that’ll make things a little easier but most people don’t.”


24. “Start off with first creating an emergency fund. This should be something between three months and six months of your expenses. Do not draw out of this fund except for real emergencies and when you do withdraw from this fund, try to pay it back as soon as possible.”

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“Keep your emergency fund money easily accessible (usually a bank account with a high interest rate, but it’s fine if you just go with your favorite local bank).

Then once you have an emergency fund, start investing in the stock market in an index fund. I have my money in an S&P 500 index fund, which means if the S&P 500 index goes up 1% that day, I make $1 for every $100 I have in my index fund. Why index funds? They have fewer fees than investing in individual stocks or in mutual funds or hedge funds, yet they do about the same in the long term. Also, until you are about a decade from retirement, you’ll want to keep most of your money in the stock market via index funds.”


25. “My mom also taught me the ‘think about how many hours you have to work to buy this item’ tip. It really does help a lot if you remember to think that way.”

“We all want to go out and have fun (which we all have the right to do) but spending money on food and drinks is the worst! You literally gain nothing from it. If you and your friends want to have a good time, get together for a BBQ or party where you all bring something. It will be so much cheaper if everyone brings a bottle of liquor or a food item. And it’s much more fun to make your own drinks and grill or cook a meal together. Next time your friends want to go out and spend their whole paycheck on a good time, think about how long you had to work for that money and suggest staying in instead. I guarantee you’ll have as good a time!”


26. “If you’re looking to change your housing situation but don’t know how much you can afford, see what the monthly payment would be on a house/apartment you would like.”

“From there, you can put the difference between your current housing costs and the ‘new’ payment in a savings account each month. For example, if your rent is $750/month and the estimated home payment is $1,000/month, you put $250/month in the savings account. If you can still live comfortably doing that, you’ll probably be ok with the mortgage/rent payment. If not, you probably won’t be. This way, you’ll find out if you can afford the place without committing to something that might not be right for you and build your savings in the process.”


27. Lastly, “A lifelong tip I’d like to add: Your journey is your journey alone. Just because someone you graduated with is in their dream job making bank and you’re not doesn’t mean that you’ve somehow failed.”

CBC Television / Via

“My first job out of college isn’t what I’m doing now in my late thirties and what I’m doing now may not be what I’m doing in five years. Your path may have more twists and turns or even some steps backward and that’s 100% okay. Don’t try to keep up with your friends or people you see on social media. That’s how many people go into debt (while others, like me, go into debt because of stupid choices made because they didn’t have any real money, education, or good money role models growing up). Also, there are a lot of free and reputable money education courses online if you want to know more.”




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