5 Ways to Rock Your Finances as a Millennial

5 ways to rock your finances as a millennial,  Do you want to get out of debt and take more financial responsibility in your life? Do you know you want financial peace but don't know where to start? Check out these 5 tips for handling your finances as a millennial. - The confused millennial


It doesn’t matter if you’re a financial rookie or consider yourself somewhat of a maven – we could all use a good cleanse from time to time. Luckily, this variety won’t leave you hangry or chugging cayenne pepper like Beyoncé. Kickstart your finances by trying one (or all!) of these five ways to get you in better financial shape.


1. Cash Diet

You open up your credit card bill and wonder how you could’ve possibly spent that much money. Did you really drop $60 at happy hour last Thursday? Between rent, student loans, your iPhone and the all-important Netflix payments, you’re in a tight bind this month. Guess it’s time to shave a little bit off the top of that emergency fund. That’s what it’s there for, right? It might be a little worrisome that it’s down to $200 – but hey – lots of your friends don’t even have that much saved.

This completely lousy justification shouldn’t hack it in 2016. It’s time to put on your grown-up pants, and a cash diet is just the way to begin your financial cleanse.

The cash diet happens in five simple steps:

Step 1: Determine how much you need to pay all your monthly bills, including debt payments.

Step 2: Make sure you’ve included putting money towards savings and your retirement plan. Hint:ideally you should be automating these contributions so they don’t even land in your checking account.

Step 3: Consider the remainder as the amount you can spend for the month and divide it by four. This is your weekly spending allowance.

Step 4: Go to the ATM and take out the cash for the week.


When there is a hard stop on the amount of money you can spend in a month, including food and entertainment, it forces you to make better budgeting decisions. You don’t have to do the cash diet forever, but give it a try for at least a month. It’s an easy way to prevent being blindsided by your credit card spending. It also illustrates your spending priorities. This isn’t to say you can never buy another latte – but if you only have $150 to spend in a week, you might want to only buy one or two instead of five or seven.

You can really up your game by depositing any excess money you haven’t spent by the end of the month into your savings account. That’s black-belt-level cash dieting.


2. Break up with your bank

Did you pay an overdraft fee in the last year? Is your savings earning less than 1.00% APY? Do you have to pay a monthly maintenance fee on your checking or savings account? Does your bank charge an ATM fee when you use an out-of-network ATM and/or fail to reimburse you the ATM fee charged by another institution?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it is time to break up with your bank.

Consider switching to Internet-only banks like Ally, Charles Schwab or GE Capital. The lack of brick-and-mortar bank locations mean these banks don’t have to nickel and dime customers in order to keep the lights on. Just be sure any bank you pick is FDIC insured.

You should also spend some time to sit down and do a full audit of all your financial products and services to see where you’re leaking money or not earning the interest you deserve. Maybe it’s time to cancel that Victoria Secret’s credit card that provokes free-tote-bag fueled purchases, or ditch the airline credit card you never use but charges a $95 annual fee.

Put any of the money you end up saving directly into your new high(er)-yield savings account. It’s a simple way to start padding your emergency fund.


3. Automate that S*!#

Don’t let money earmarked for savings land in your checking account. That is the highway to the danger zone. In fact, Kenny Loggins probably belted out those lyrics thinking about future royalty checks landing in his checking account instead of his high-yield savings.

I jest, but in all seriousness, you should set up a portion of your paycheck to automatically be routed into a retirement account – especially an employer-matched 401(k) – and a percentage into your savings account. Allowing it to pass through checking gives you the opportunity for temptation and requires you to engage in the chore of pressing a few buttons to move it into savings. Eliminate the risk of spending your savings by keeping it away from checking.


4. Demolish your debt with two simple tricks

Managing your student loans, credit card debt, auto loan or any other financial burden is the best part of a financial cleanse. There are two simple tricks to help you get aggressive about those payments without feeling a whole lot of extra burden on your bank account.

Bi-weekly payments

Instead of making one monthly payment, split your bill into two installments. For example, if you pay $250 a month your bi-weekly payment would be $125 every two weeks. By paying bi-weekly, you’ll actually squeeze out 13 payments in a year instead of 12. If you’re paid on a bi-weekly scale then there are two months a year you get three glorious payments instead of two. Leveraging this to pay off your loans will help shave interest and time off your repayment journey. Unfortunately, not all lenders accept bi-weekly payments, so be sure to ask before trying to set it up.

Pay above your minimum due

This is imperative for repaying credit card debt – but should be a general practice for all payments made to lenders. Just paying the minimum means a significant chunk of your money is just going towards interest, which means it isn’t chipping away at your principal balance. An extra $10 a month on your student loan payment could shave six months to a year off your repayment journey.

There is a trick though with paying above the minimum on student loans. Call (and write) to your student loan servicer and explain how you want the extra money applied. Your servicer could just put it towards next month’s interest instead of applying it to your principal balance. Be sure to specify that you want money in excess of your minimum to be put towards your principal balance. If you are repaying more than one loan, specify you want the extra money to go towards the principal on the loan with the highest interest rate.


5. Make your goals actionable

Actionable and small goals are key to a successful financial cleanse. Don’t just say, “I want to save more money.” Decide, “I want to save $3,000 by June and $7,000 by the end of the year.” Putting specifics on your financial cleanse will make it easier to make your New Year’s resolution last past than Valentine’s Day.

Grab our checklist for saving on a tight budget!


Read the original article on Invibed. Copyright 2016. Invibed is an online community for successful millennials who are building wealth and creating their dream lives. Follow Invibed on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Erin Lowry is the founder of BrokeMillennial.com, where she uses sarcasm and humor to explain basic financial concepts to her fellow millennials. Erin lives and works in New York City.


22 thoughts on “5 Ways to Rock Your Finances as a Millennial”

  1. All great tips!! It is so important to start practicing this in your 20s too! My husband and I married really young and were smart enough to start being wise with our money and it has paid off 🙂 Awesome post!

  2. I love how these ideas are straightforward and simple. It’s hard to manage finances and even harder to stay on top of it. I will definitely start to incorporate these suggestions into the way I handle mine from now on. Thanks! 🙂

  3. These are amazing goals. I’m really struggling with my finances right now because I’m in grad school. I keep telling myself that in two years when I’m graduated and start my school counseling job, that’s when I can set up my 401K and all of that. It’s too confusing now when my income is so little and so sketchy! haha.

  4. I need to do a cash diet ASAP! Love reading about how I can balance my finances, thats always something i’m looking for! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. Great tips! Totally agree with the cash thing. It’s so easy to swipe a card but actually getting out cash and spending it is definitely harder!


  6. So funny that you mentioned the "cash diet" because I actually do the complete opposite! I found that having cash actually caused me to spend my money more frequently. If I put all of my money on my debit card, I’m less likely to spend money than I would if I had cash!

  7. Mackenzie Murphy

    These are such amazing tips!!! I’m definitely having a wake up call recently that I need to chill out on spending!! I need to try this cash diet ASAP!

  8. Aishwarya Shenolikar

    I need to make a note of this! All possible points put into perspective! Starting with the cash diet! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  9. I love this post! Budgeting can be so annoying, but super beneficial. I always like challenging myself to see how much I can save. Sharing this 🙂

  10. Great tips! My husband and I budget every ounce of our money out between bills, savings, etc. and if we have any extra it goes towards student loans. Paying off those loans as soon as possible is so important!

    Greta | http://www.gretahollar.com

  11. Kristine Circenis

    I LOVE these tips! I definitely struggle with not spending cash if I have it, but I think I’d like to give the cash diet you described. I think it could definitely help me conceptualize how far my money gets me.

  12. Annaliese Lemieux-Kaplan

    Excellent tips!! I am a recent college grad and I always try to prioritize a balance of saving and spending (and ALWAYS paying my bills on time), but I know so many of my friends who are already getting into so much debt!

    xoxo A

  13. Love this post! I have autodraft set to my savings for each paycheck and that’s a life saver.

  14. Morgan Flinchum

    I split my rent payment in two every month since I receive 2 monthly paychecks. It’s one of the best financial decisions I’ve made! That way at the end of the month I’m not struggling with spending money! I love your tip about the "cash diet". I think I should try it!

    How 2 Wear It [] http://how2wearit.com

  15. Great tips! I can’t wait to put them to good use and save some cash!


  16. This is great! I don’t like spending cash-in-hand but I try to stick to an all-cash budget through my debit card.

    I’m in the middle of a MASSIVE "how to save your butt off" post for Thursday to help out with managing finances/savings goals! I will need to remember to pass it your way!

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