I am a Millennial.
And one of the first things I did upon entering the “real world” was reach out to successful bankers and traders for insight as to how to manage money. It’s a skill that doesn’t get taught in school (at least, not very well), and as a 20-something I found myself unsure of even the basics:
How does a credit card work?
Who takes care of my 401k?
What even is a 401k?
Should I start saving for retirement now?
What stocks are good to invest in?
I wanted to know everything. But more importantly, I wanted to know what I could do now that would set me up for success in the future.
1. “It’s Not What You Make, It’s What You Save.”
This is something that was instilled in me by my father at a very young age.
Of course, it’s difficult to comprehend and understand when your only income is $15 a week mowing the lawn, but the phrase made sense as soon as I was out in the real world.
I read a powerful article a while back telling the story of a guy who worked a high-paying consulting job, and had all the flashy things: big house, sports car, flew first class. But upon closer inspection, he was spending his income as fast as he was bringing it in, meaning that if he stopped working tomorrow, his lifestyle would immediately come to a halt.
The first rule every Millennial needs to hold themselves to is saving. Don’t wait until you’re “making more money” to start saving — because trust me, the moment you start making more, you are going to want to spend more.
Start the habit right from the beginning.