Millennials who came of age during or after the financial crisis haven’t had the easiest economic start. There’s been much hand-wringing about a generation who doesn’t seem interested in marriage or kids, lives with roommates for years on end, and keeps coming home to live with their parents. If you scratch beneath the surface, though, these so-called ‘trends’ really belie deep financial insecurity, most of it caused by forces outside of Millennials’ control.
The good news is that even in an unstable economy or while saddled with student debt, young people can follow a roadmap to achieve financial freedom and independence. To say you should start by getting a job seems like a somewhat obvious step (especially as Millennials at work tend to have different habits than their older colleagues), but there are several steps that can make a real difference.
Setting up a savings account and shopping around for the highest interest rate you can find is also a very useful step. Of course, before building a savings it’s worth paying off your student loan as quickly as possible, particularly in order to reduce the principal. Finally, thinking ahead can matter just as much as taking that first step–even if retirement seems a long way away. Starting to save and setting up a pension is important no matter how young you are, as this will help make sure you’re protected in the future.