Millennials, this one’s for you: Maintaining a social life on a budget

Small and big piggy banks

In a recent Investing 101 seminar hosted by Katharine Perry, associate financial consultant at Fort Pitt, we offered attendees an intro to the world of personal finance and investing. To make these seminars more impactful and helpful, we do our best to address specific questions generated by our audience members. Here’s one that is aimed at the millennial generation, or anyone getting a head-start on saving for retirement.

Q: When you are younger, how do you balance having a social life with planning for retirement?

A: It is possible to have a social life while sticking to a savings game plan, it just boils down to being strategic…

  • Make sure that you’re always making contributions toward your retirement. It’s integral that you begin contributing to a 401(k) as soon as possible, at four percent at the very least. Millennials should jump on the opportunity to get compound interest working in their favor. Start small and use the advantage of time to gradually increase your contribution rate each year.
  • Make a budget that includes savings. In a recent USA Today article, I was quoted weighing in on the importance of getting your finances in order by establishing a goal for yourself. If you realize that you’re off your budget for the month, don’t hesitate to turn down plans or events that require spending money. Once you’ve allotted for your savings and bills, you can work with the money that you have left over.
  • Don’t let travel leave you falling behind. Many individuals tend to make the mistake of putting their retirement savings on hold for a vacation or trip. When you’re retired and don’t have enough money to live on, that money will be much more valuable to you than any vacation. There will always be another time to take a trip, but there won’t be another time to save for your golden years once you’re already retired.
  • Get creative. The holidays usually go hand-in-hand with gift giving and spending money. Pinterest and DIY gifts make it easier to save money while being more creative. In addition, spending time with friends and family by making dinner plans or going to free events is much more valuable than giving material items.
  • Ask for help. In the same USA Today article that I mentioned above, I offered advice on asking for help from a reputable financial advisor. The information that you find online can be questionable, since it doesn’t always translate into the best advice for your unique situation. Most millennials aren’t afraid to ask questions, but many are reluctant to ask for help since they tend to try to answer it themselves. Save money and time by getting the correct advice from a professional.