5 things you can learn from millennials

  • Written by MarketWatch
  • Published in Economics

Millennials often get a bad name in the media and around the workplace. They’re frequently stereotyped as both arrogant and naive. But maybe it’s time boomers and Gen Xers not only start giving Gen Y credit, but also following some of their financial habits. Learning about living on a budget the way millennials do might help you find cash to save for retirement.

Many millennials have taken to living frugally with the aim of stretching their paychecks. This helps them spend money on things they want and put a little aside for their futures.

“When you’re planning to retire, you’ll pretty much find yourself in the same position as millennials who are just starting out and require budgeting to make sure they get it right,” says Marcus Johnson, a writer for EliteAssignmentHelp.

Here are a few things many millennials do that you might put into practice, too:

Work from home

Millennials know it’s become increasingly possible to earn a full-time wage simply by using a laptop connected to the internet. This can then save you the cost of commuting, a work wardrobe and restaurant lunches.

Avoid taking out loans

Millennials, of course, are often stuck trying to pay off enormous student loans. Consequently, they’re leery of taking on new debt. You’ll want to steer free of taking out loans when you plan to stop working full time, too.

“If you’re not earning money, but you’re taking out bank loans, the chances are that this is going to stay with you until the day you die. They are simply best avoided at all costs,” says Sarah White, a financial writer for State of Writing.

Avoid using credit cards, too

Millennials also tend not to use credit cards, except for emergencies or if they know they can pay off their cards in full at month’s end. Just one in three millennials has a credit card, according to a Bankrate.com survey[1]. In most cases, they prefer debit cards or prepaid cards. By contrast, 70% of those over 65 use plastic.

Boomers and Gen Xers might want to reduce or eliminate their credit card usage, too. The money that would have been needed to pay interest could instead go toward saving for the future.

Ditch the car

Millennials are up to speed on knowing that cars are extremely expensive to own. Aside from the steep purchase price and possible monthly car payments, there’s gasoline, insurance, parking, tolls, maintenance and periodic repairs.

Many millennials have opted not to buy or lease cars and instead get around by using ride-sharing platforms such as Uber and Lyft (not to mention walking and taking public transportation). You might want to think about selling your car or one of your cars and instead getting lifts through your smartphone app.

Cut the monthly luxuries

Think about how much you pay monthly for things like landline phones, cellphones, cable TV, streaming services...

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