There’s no time like the present. It holds true in all things, none more so than with personal finance. Time can be unforgiving when you take it for granted and that’s why Millennials who aren’t giving much thought to their future should probably start, because the earlier you implement some of these simple money moves, the better off you’ll be down the road.
Monitor Your Credit Score
Trying to repair bad credit can be difficult, but if you’re monitoring your score at all times you can fix a problem before it gets too late. It’s a good idea to routinely check your report in case you’re the victim of identity fraud and it can help prevent you from racking up too much debt. If your score starts to get lower, then you know there’s a problem in your spending habits and you can course correct early.
While Obamacare is still the law of the land, you are mandated to have health insurance. But don’t do it just because you have to, do it because you really want to. Otherwise, if you do have some major costly medical issue to deal with, the money is coming out of your pocket instead and that can lead to serious financial doom.
Learn to Budget
The quickest way to get deep into debt is through poor budgeting skills. You have a certain amount of money each month and you have bills to pay. Learn how to allocate your finances responsibly and you won’t fall into the trap of debt. That will preserve your excellent credit score, of course. All you need is 5 minutes and Microsoft Excel, Google Docs or just a pad and pen.
Planning for the Future
Start learning about 401(k)’s. Your employer may even offer one and provide matching contributions over the course of the year. That’s free money you should be taking! Contributing a small portion of your paycheck to your retirement every week or month will start to add up and, before you know it, you’ll have a pretty sizable nest egg at your disposal.
Talk to your parents or your parents’ financial adviser about some of the steps you can take to be more financially secure with the money you have now. There are a myriad of investment vehicles available out there with strange names and acronyms. Ask a professional about navigating the alphabet soup of ETF’s and IRA’s so you know how to make your money grow.
Set Your Goals
It’s all well and good to talk about doing all of these things but doing them is a whole other thing. Establish deadlines for yourself so you can accomplish the financial objectives you really want and lay the groundwork for a fiscally responsible life ahead.