As a millennial, it can be difficult to accept your financial situation with a positive attitude. For many of us, having a plan for your financial future security is uncharted territory and it can easily become intimidating. But as you go up in your career, you’ll have to figure out a responsible way to handle your finances while paying for things you need (and want!). As a millennial, it’s even harder to get a grip on your money management issues because of ever-increasing college debt on top of your credit and debts, the whole shebang.

But the best part of being young is that you have enough time to work on your credit as well as pay your debts, while managing your money like a pro. As a young person in the workforce, it takes some time to figure out the best way to stay on top of everything that needs to be done, but it’s possible! Bear with what you have and work towards your long-term goals one day at a time to get ahead of your financial to-do lists. Here are some ways you can do effective money management as if you went to school for it.

Get an App to Help You, Because There’s One for Everyone, No Matter What Your Needs

Whether you are on top of your game already, or working towards creating a system to manage your finances, it’s important to have a helping hand. Apps like Quicken or YNAB are a great tool to help you organize all your financial information and create goals you can actually follow.

You can check online reviews for popular money management apps to figure out which ones are the best match for your needs, and start your journey towards a more organized future today. The best part of these apps is that they’re made from people just like you, who understand what’s going on in your head, and made the apps to suit your specific needs.

Create a Budget that Works

From writing down your important expenses on a piece of paper, to having a strict method of budgeting, everyone needs a plan for themselves. We all slack off at one time or another. Make sure the budget you’re creating for yourself is realistic and takes into account all the small recurring charges that don’t come under any specific type of expense (here’s looking at date nights and going to pub after work).

The apps we talked about before are a great tool, and some apps are made for budgeting specifically. Whatever your paycheque break-up looks like, you’re sure to get help from creating a budget, and sticking to it.

But if your budget isn’t working out, don’t despair. There’s always going to be room for improvement, so all you need to do is find a budget that’s more streamlined towards your personal needs.

Prioritize Loans with Higher Interest Rates

It may seem obvious, but when at the end of the month, you have to choose between paying your school debt off or  saving your credit score, take the option that will have smaller, more manageable consequences in the long term. It can be worrying to have so much piling on top of each other, and it can cloud your judgement, so it’s important to know what everything is going to cost you down the line.

Creating a budget as well as educating yourself about what the interest rates on different payments look like, can make the difference between paying and saving hundreds of pounds in interests over time.

Be Proactive About Your Financial Decisions

This doesn’t just mean paying your bills and debts on time (or before time!), but also creating a strategy and spending only on what you need, when you need it. Spending less isn’t the only way you can be proactive. Spending smart is equally important.

When you don’t have a plan of action, it can seem on-brand with being a millennial to joke about taking it one day at a time, but it can seriously hurt you come the need to take a loan or any other sort of monetary help. Being proactive can look like saving a small part of your paycheque in a separate fund, away from what you owe others, or even save up towards a specific goal.

Create Habits That Help

Healthy habits are the backbone of good adulting. No matter how you’re managing your money, a good habit can carry your small investments a long way. Stay strong and focus on your goals, and visualize your goals to keep you from straying.

In the beginning, it may not seem worth it, but over time a hundred pounds can turn into a thousand, and then, before you know it, five thousand. All you have to do is rinse and repeat.

Talk About Your Issues with Friends and Family

It can feel embarrassing to talk to other people about money, but hushing about these things is what gives fire to the flames. The whole game of pretend we play collectively only hurts our own self-esteem and discourages our growth and acceptance about our financial situation.

Start as Early as Possible

It’s fun to be young, but you know what’s more fun? Having a safe future. Start your savings for the future, whatever that looks like, as soon as you afford to. Be honest to yourself about your chances of getting a pay raise, and make a plan that works with this. Don’t factor in any money that you don’t actually have.

You may have noticed that most of the tips talk about long-term goals and savings, and that is because it’s not easy to figure things out overnight. Life happens, things change, and your plan will keep changing accordingly. No one day alone determines how your financial situation actually is. So, if you’re in the habit of looking at your bank account and wallowing in despair whenever you’re feeling down, don’t sweat it. The most important thing is that you stick to your plan, and be honest with yourself about what you want, and what you need.

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