Top 5 Financial Mistakes Millennials Make

The road to financial freedom is littered with obstacles, and this is especially true for Generation Y. The majority of Millennials are dealing with intense financial debt, and have come of age in a time of financial turbulence, starting with the Housing Crash in 2008. To ensure you’re making the most of your money, avoid these common financial mistakes:

Failing to Make (and Stick to) Financial Goals

Don’t let a lack of financial literacy impact your earning and saving potential. Failing to make financial goals (and see them through), can impede your overall financial success both now and in the long term. Sit down and consider your financial goals: do you want to get out of debt? Save enough money for a house down payment? Whatever the goal, break it down into smaller to-do’s and start working steadily towards it.

Get overwhelmed with endless financial checklists? Intuit Turbo broke down financial to-do’s into different months. Check out their January financial to-do list and determine which might be applicable to your money goals.

Image courtesy of Intuit Turbo

Relying on Credit Cards

Credit cards make it deceptively easy to overspend, and Millennials have racked up a great deal of credit card debt. According to a recent study, the average Millennial in the U.S. carried an average of $4,712 in credit card debt. If you find yourself unable to pay off your credit bill each month, or you’re blowing through your budget, try to stick to paying for things with cash.

Failing to Make a Plan to Pay Off Debt

Millennials are saddled with debt, thanks to the increasing cost of living, tremendous student loans, and credit card spending. However, ignoring your debt won’t help. Nearly 1 in 5 Millennials with debt expect to die without every paying it off, according to recent research. Don’t become part of that statistic. Meet with a financial advisor to create a debt payment plan and make regular payments every month.

Wasting Money on Non-Essentials

Millennials spend an average of $5,736 on non-essential purchases every year. If you’re not sure where your money’s going, it’s time to start tracking your expenditures. Skip the daily Starbucks, host potlucks instead of heading out to dinner with friends, and avoid buying things you don’t need. Small efforts like these can have a huge impact on your financial health, so consider where you might be able to pare down your spending.

Not Saving for Retirement

Retirement might seem a long way off, but it’s important to lay the foundation for your Golden years now. According to this report from the National Institute on Retirement Security, more than 66% of people between the ages of 21 and 32 have nothing saved for retirement. Putting money in the stock market by stock investing is a great way to ensure you’ll have enough money to live off in the future.

Source: National Institute on Retirement Security

There’s no better time than the present to begin contributing to a retirement account, especially if your employer offers contribution matching. Set up direct deposit to your 401K, IRA, or other retirement savings account; that way, you can contribute with every paycheck without having to think about it.

Key Takeaways:

Now that you know what not to do, we’ll leave you with some key tasks:

  • Create and stick to your financial to-do lists
  • Try to rely less on credit cards
  • Make a debt payment plan
  • Curb your spending on those non-essential items
  • Start saving for retirement today

Have any other insights or money-saving tips for Millennials? Sound off in the comments.

About the Author

Steve Bourie is the author of the American Casino Guide and owner of American Casino Guide Book, the most comprehensive publication available for information on any U.S. casino/resort, riverboat or Indian casino. His guide has been published annually since 1992 and it is now the #1 bestselling book in the U.S. on the subject of casino gambling and travel.

It provides detailed listings on more than 700 casinos in 41 states; information on how casinos differ from state-to-state; how slot and video poker machines work; which games offer the best odds; and comprehensive stories on blackjack, craps, roulette and baccarat. It even provides actual slot machine payback percentages for every state’s casinos.

Steve has more than 40 years of experience in the gambling industry and is a former marketing executive at a South Florida gambling facility. His casino travel articles have appeared in Fortune, Bestfares.com and the inflight magazines for Spirit Airlines and Continental Connection. He has also written numerous articles for gaming magazines, including Chance, Double Down, and The Gambler, Canada’s largest circulation gaming magazine. Steve was also a contributing author to The Experts Guide to Casino Games from Carol Publishing Group.

Steve is an experienced speaker on casinos and/or gambling. He has been a guest on hundreds of radio talk shows and he formerly hosted his own one-hour South Florida Gaming Show on a local South Florida radio station. Steve has also made numerous television appearances including MSNBC, CNNFN, WTVJ (NBC affiliate), WPLG (ABC affiliate), WSVN (FOX affiliate), WFOR (CBS affiliate), KABC (ABC affiliate in Los Angeles), Steve Crowley’s nationally syndicated Money Report and numerous cable TV shows.

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