7 Banking Tips for Financially Savvy Millennials

It’s well known that Millennials as a generation are struggling with student loan debt while simultaneously dealing with high rates of unemployment and underemployment. That makes saving money, paying down debt, and building wealth significantly more difficult for them and that’s why it’s so important for millennials to do everything they can to protect the money that they make and save. That means being savvy when it comes to banking and financial matters.

Here are some tips for how to save money when it comes to your finances.

  1. Start Early

No one has ever complained that they started saving for retirement too early. In fact, the earlier you save the less you’ll have to put aside. That’s because money that you put aside earlier has more time to grow and begins to compound – that means the interest you earn begins to earn interest and your money grows more quickly. While you might be struggling to repay student loans, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still be putting money aside for retirement. Take advantage of your companies 401(k) – especially if they offer a match. That’s free money!

  1. Use Online-Only Banks

Millennials are known to prefer online or mobile banking over banking at a branch. For that reason, millennials are more likely to enjoy using online-only banks. Online-only banks such as Ally and Discover Bank are banks that don’t have actual branch locations – which means that you do most of your banking either online or through a mobile app. Some online-only banks also have ATM networks that they are affiliated with which you can use. Their online offerings and customer service are usually better than you would find at most traditional banks so you’re able to do everything you might do at a bank branch without having to go into one.  Online-only banks tend to have lower fees and offer higher interest rates on checking and savings accounts which will save you money and ensure that the money you earn goes further.

  1. Pay Yourself First

It’s important to put money aside for important things like an emergency fund or your retirement, but it can be hard to remember to transfer that money every month. By the time you remember to do it, you might have already spent the money. That’s why you should take advantage of automatic transfers to pay yourself first. Set up automatic transfers to your savings or retirement accounts the day after you get your paycheck.

  1. Refinance High-Interest Credit Cards with a Personal Loan

It can be difficult to pay off credit card debt because the high-interest rates credit cards charge means a significant portion of your payment goes towards the interest and not reducing the debt. That’s why it makes sense to take out a personal loan in order to consolidate and pay off credit card debt. According to LendEDU, if you have a good credit score and a good job, you can likely qualify for a personal loan at a lower interest rate than you are paying on your credit card. By repaying your credit cards with a personal loan, you can pay off your debt more quickly and save money that would have gone to interest.

  1. Sign Up for Pay-As-You-Go Banking Plans

If you don’t use your bank very often, then you might be able to get a discount on your banking services by signing up for a pay-as-you-go plan. These plans allow you to pick and choose the services that you want to use and pay only for those services. That could mean you would save a significant amount of money every month on banking fees.

  1. Avoid Overdrawing

According to the CFPB, overdrawing costs customers an average of $225 per year. If you’re struggling with your finances, the last thing you need is to overdraw your account. Before you make a big payment, make sure there is enough money in there. Better yet, keep a bit of a surplus in that account to make sure that it will never be too low. If you overdraw on your account, you could be hit with a hefty fee and even charged interest for every day that you’re in overdraft.

  1. Build Your Credit

Having great credit is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only will it allow you to refinance any debt that you currently have at lower rates, but it will also help you to qualify for loans in the future and get the lowest interest rate. Over your lifetime, that could save you tens of thousands of dollars. One easy way to build your credit is to get a credit card and use it responsibly. Pay it off on time every month and never use more than 20% to 30% of your available credit. If your credit has gone down due to past behavior be patient. It will take time to bring your score up.

  1. Budget

Budgeting is often thought to be boring and time-consuming, but nowadays there are apps that simplify the process. Check out Mint or Level Money – apps which automate your budgeting process by connecting with your bank and credit card accounts. Most people aren’t aware of how much they spend and tracking your spending will help you see where you can cut back. Once you know where you would like to spend less, you can set a budget and easily ensure that you stick to it.

These tips are important for all millennials including international students, immigrants and visa holders such as F-1, H-1B, L-1, J-1, O-1, etc.