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8 Money Management Tips for Millennials and Gen Z
8 Money Management Tips for Millennials and Gen Z

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8 Money Management Tips for Millennials and Gen Z

8 Money Management Tips for Millennials and Gen Z

Begin immediately. The earlier you start, the greater potential for your savings to flourish.

As of 2023, just 30 states in the U.S. mandated a personal finance class, while 25 required an economics course for high school graduation. This indicates that there are still areas where young adults lack knowledge in managing finances, navigating credit applications, and avoiding debt.

Key Takeaways

  • Taking the time to learn a few basic financial rules can help you build a healthy financial future.
  • Start an emergency fund and pay yourself every month.
  • Saving for retirement is an integral part of any financial plan, and your nest egg can grow with the power of compound interest.

1. Pay With Cash, Not Credit

Practice patience and discipline when managing your finances. By saving up for your needs instead of making impulsive purchases, you’ll be able to pay with either cash or a debit card, directly deducting funds from your checking account and steering clear of reliance on credit cards.

A credit card is like borrowing money, and you have to pay extra if you can’t pay it all back each month. It can boost your credit score, but it’s best to use it only for urgent situations.

2. Educate Yourself

Be in control of your money future by reading some simple books about managing money. Once you know more, don’t let anyone persuade you to spend unnecessarily, like a partner pushing you to waste money or friends planning costly trips you can’t afford. Before getting help from experts like financial planners or accountants, make sure to research them well.

3. Learn To Budget

After reading some books about managing money, you’ll learn two important rules. Don’t spend more than you earn, and keep an eye on how you spend your money. The smartest way to do this is by making a budget and a plan for your spending to keep track of what you earn and what you spend.

Paying attention to your spending, such as buying pricey coffee every morning, can help you realize how much you’re actually spending. Making small adjustments to your daily expenses is something you can manage and can affect your finances. By keeping your monthly costs, like rent, as low as possible, you can save money in the long run and get closer to owning your own home sooner.

4. Start an Emergency Fund

In managing money, a common saying is “pay yourself first,” which means setting aside money for emergencies and your future before spending on anything else. This simple habit helps you avoid financial problems and gives you peace of mind. Even if you have a very tight budget, try to save some money for emergencies every month.

When you make saving a habit, you’ll see it as something you must do every month, not just an extra choice. Certain accounts, like high-interest savings accounts or short-term CDs, can help your savings grow over time through compound interest.

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5. Save for Retirement Now

Even if you’re still young, it’s smart to start thinking about retirement early. When you begin saving in your twenties, compound interest helps your money grow. This means you’ll earn interest not just on the money you save, but also on the interest it earns over time. So, by the time you retire, you’ll have enough saved up.

Employer-provided retirement plans are an excellent option. You can contribute money before taxes, and often, your company will match some of your contribution, which is like getting free money. 401(k)s usually have higher contribution limits than IRAs, but both can help you improve your financial well-being.

6. Monitor Your Taxes

Before accepting a job offer with a certain salary, figure out if that salary, once taxes are taken out, covers your financial requirements and savings targets. Various online tools, like, can help you determine your take-home pay by showing your gross earnings (total income) and net pay (income after taxes and deductions). For instance, in 2023, a $35,000 yearly salary in New York resulted in about $28,461 after federal and state taxes, or approximately $2,372 each month.

In the United States, individuals with lower incomes are taxed at a lower rate compared to those with higher incomes. As your salary increases, so does your tax rate. While a salary bump from $35,000 to $41,000 per year may seem like an additional $6,000 annually or $500 per month, the higher tax rate means you’ll actually receive only $4,463 annually, or approximately $372 each month.

7. Guard Your Health

If you don’t have health insurance, it’s important to apply for it without delay. If you have a job, your employer might provide health insurance, which could include high-deductible plans that lower premiums and make you eligible for a Health Savings Account (HSA). Also, if you’re under 26 years old, you might be able to remain on your parents’ health insurance, a provision that has been available since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed in 2010.

If you’re in need of insurance, explore the federal and state plans available through the Health Insurance Marketplace established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Compare quotes from various insurance companies to find the most affordable rates. Take the time to examine all your choices to determine if you’re eligible for a subsidy based on your income.

8. Protect Your Wealth

If you’re a renter, consider getting renter’s insurance to safeguard your belongings in case of theft or fire. Carefully review the policy to understand what it covers and excludes. Disability insurance ensures a consistent income if you’re unable to work for a long time due to illness or injury, protecting your ability to earn money.

If you seek assistance in handling your finances, consider consulting a fee-only financial planner for impartial guidance. Unlike advisors who earn commissions based on the investments they sell, fee-only planners offer advice solely in your favor without any conflict of interest.

How Do I Choose a Financial Advisor?

A fee-only financial planner is a great option for young adults. Unlike advisors who receive commissions by enrolling you in their company’s investment options, fee-only planners prioritize your best interests without any personal gain, ensuring unbiased advice.

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Why Is Compound Interest So Powerful?

Compound interest is a significant factor in finance because it has the potential to exponentially increase your money, significantly boosting your savings as time passes. With compound interest, you not only earn interest on your initial investment but also on the interest it accumulates.

Why Did My Paycheck Shrink After My Raise?

As your salary increases, so does your tax rate. If you recently received a raise or started a new job with a higher salary, the change in tax rate on the extra income will impact your paycheck. For instance, if a $6,000 raise moves you into a higher tax bracket, you’ll pay a higher percentage of your income in taxes, resulting in a smaller paycheck than anticipated.

The Bottom Line

You don’t require an MBA in Finance or specialized education to excel at managing your finances. By adhering to these eight tips, you can embark on the journey toward financial stability.

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