The generation of the internet age is one of the largest and most diverse in the U.S. Although Millennials have been defined by a relationship to technology, the generation has been steadily redefining adulthood. Millennials have adapted and endured in a post-recession economy, their social and global values have inspired change in the labor market, and now one-third of Millennials are living with their parents.
For the first time in the Modern Era, this is the most common living arrangement for 18 to 34-year-olds. This new normal has not come without its challenges. Many are saddled with student loans, consumer debt, and a serious lack of savings – both emergency and retirement. The silver lining? Living at home provides some financial stability, just when it’s needed most.
If you’re a Millennial about to move back home, who has been living at home for a while, or is looking for an opportunity for independence, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your time at home:
1. Befriend your budget.
Keep track of what goes in and what goes out regularly and realistically. You’ll be able to identify spending habits worth adjusting so you can grow your savings where you need it most. You may be spending more on that weekly after work happy hour than you believe. A budget will help you track where your money is going.
2. Get a handle on your student loans and other high-interest debt.
Not unlike a mortgage, you’re in for the long haul when it comes to student debt. Talk to your lender about your repayment options and adjustments, and make sure you can afford what you’re paying each month. If you have credit card debt, work on paying this debt off pretty quickly, so you will have more money to put towards your other goals.
3. Set savings goals, and plan for emergencies.
How can you best leverage your time at home? Build a savings for a security deposit and an emergency fund to handle life events as they happen. Need that extra motivation? Make a commitment to yourself to save by taking the America Saves pledge.
4. Ramp up repayment.
Get ahead of interest on your consumer debt (and/or student loans) by breaking up your payments biweekly or adding one additional payment per year.
5. Check in on the health of your credit.
You should know about how credit scores work and how a healthy credit score can put you in a better spot to reach your goals and save you a bundle along the way. Not sure where to start? Try the Credit Score Quiz to boost your credit score knowledge.