You care about yourself, your peers, your environment and your future. You want to take charge, help others and make a difference in the process. This is what makes you unique. So how do you start planning for your future 20 – 30 years from now?
Small steps now = big savings later
It's okay to start small. The important thing is to start. Enroll in your retirement plan, and max out any matching funds your employer offers. Contributing just a few dollars per paycheck now can add up to big money by the time you retire. The earlier you start, the less you'll need to contribute over the long run, thanks to the power of compounding.
Harness the power of compounding
Any money you put aside today has decades to benefit from compounding, or the ability to grow at an increasing rate over time. With compounding, the returns you earn on your money are reinvested, so the "pot" of money earning investment returns for you grows larger every year—and your returns grow, too. A few years from now, you'll be amazed at how your balance has grown.
Get real about spending
You may not think you can stretch your paycheck to incorporate savings, but until you make a budget, you won't know for sure. It may be worth the extra effort to save on big-ticket items—like commuting longer to save on rent—to free up cash for emergencies, small luxuries, and savings.
Don't let your social life break the bank
A recent study found that three-quarters of millennials let their friends' financial habits determine their own, and two-thirds said they were stretching to keep up.1 If you're making less than friends are, don't assume you can go out with them often. You might even try mixing up the people you spend time with—you probably already have a few friends who are thrifty and fun.
Saving for tomorrow may be the last thing on your mind, but starting early lets you capitalize on your biggest advantage time.
Start by saving.