Saving may not be the hottest topic of all time, but it’s still vital to your financial success. Without saving, it’s much harder to reach your larger goals in life, whether that be buying your family Christmas gifts, remodeling your kitchen or eventually retiring. The problem? Everyone knows this, but few people take significant steps to make it happen. With these five millennial-friendly tips, you won’t just be saving for the future, but could even make a little extra money on the side!
1. Sell Your Old Threads
There is no denying that our society is focused on consumerism. Everywhere you look there will be ads staring you in the face for the “next big thing!” One of the biggest sources of waste is clothing. We buy for the latest back-to-school season, receive birthday gifts and most of it hangs in the back of our closet with the tag still on. We all have that family member that gives us a sweater we would never wear or some outrageous costume jewelry. So, rather than letting those items collect dust, pop over to the app store. Apps such as Poshmark are making it easier than ever for users to sell their unwanted items, whether they’re brand new or lightly used. This includes clothing and accessories for both men and women! Even popular celebrities and social media icons sell their expensive items on Poshmark for a steal. The best part about this tip is you get to make some extra cash selling your stuff, while also having a site where you can save cash buying items you actually need. Now that is what I would call the best of both worlds!
2. Pregame the Pregame
Whether you’re young or old, letting loose at the bar with friends can be a great time. Good food, good drinks, and oh…Bummer, one heck of a bill. We all love the hippest places with new appetizers and fruity mixed drinks, but they can chip away at your bank account after a fun weekend out on the town. The biggest pro tip of all? Pregame the pregame. Invite your friends over to your place first (BYOB of course) and make your own spread of cheese, crackers, and whatever snacks your heart desires. By the time you make it out, you won’t be completely hungry or completely sober. Buying only one drink is better than buying twelve. If you are feeling especially frisky, try just ordering a shot- does the job just as well with fewer calories and its cheaper! If you do decide to let loose for a night, remember to stay responsible and always have a designated driver with you. They’re cheaper than an Uber and can always be trusted to recount your embarrassing stories the next day.
3. DIY Your Life
This tip is what I would call a double-edged sword. Doing it yourself for gifts, home décor or clothing, can save you money and provide a new hobby. DIY isn’t just for stay-at-home parents, but anyone who is hoping to create something based on their own creativity. Your best friend’s birthday is coming up? Go on Pinterest to find an idea you like and make it your own. A pair of friendship bracelets you made yourself will always be more meaningful than a last-minute gift from Amazon Prime. Even better, you can make it into a bonding experience. Take your mom to paint your own pottery, rather than buying her something for the kitchen. This way you create something together and have some quality bonding time…an easy Win-Win. People have even created careers out of doing it themselves. While something may start out as a hobby, it can easily be turned into a source of income if you’re skilled enough. While you may think your homemade bracelets are just for friends, there may be an untapped market with your name on it!
4. Out of Sight and Out of Mind
It’s a tale as old as time; when you see something enticing, you are going to want it. If you show a kid a cookie jar, they will ask for a cookie. The same goes for your hard-earned cash. When you see those dollar bills in your wallet or more money in your checking, your brain will come up with ways to compensate for frivolous spending. If you can’t see that extra cash flow or you don’t even know it’s there, it will be safely tucked away in your savings or separate account until absolutely necessary. Companies, whether just a minimum wage job or your full-time career, oftentimes provide options where a certain percentage of your regular payments are deposited into an account of your choosing. You could decide to allocate those funds to save for a new car or your kids’ college or even just a much-needed family vacation. The satisfaction derived from working hard and saving for a large purchase is much more fulfilling in the long run than those off the cuff, impulsive purchases.
5. Save it for a Rainy Day
I have to admit that this last tip is not my own. I was out to coffee with a good friend of mine and she noticed I threw my extra change into the baristas tip jar. While she noted that it is a nice thing to do, she told me she saves up all her change. Once her wallet gets too fat to zip, she puts it in a glass jar to fill up and eventually take to the bank. I realized how genius this was when I attempted to do the mental math of how much money I could’ve saved from all the spare change I treat like junk. Of course, the penny is now not even worth what it costs to manufacture, but it is money nonetheless. I think this brings up a great point that our parents and grandparents practiced long before us, which is that every little bit counts. That $100 bill may be much more appealing, but pocket change can add up to big bucks if you’re consistent about tucking it away!
We all have to save, whether it be for something small or a life-changing purchase. Saving ensures that we will be safe later down the road when an unexpected expense pops up from out of the blue. You don’t know what life will throw at you and your savings can either make or break you. Having some extra cash to spend is fun in the short run, but saving that for later can pay dividends for many years to come. Try one or all of these tips to change the way you handle your money and prepare for the future.
This report is a publication of Demand Wealth. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date, but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author as of the date of publication and are subject to change.