Financially speaking, millennials have it rough. College is more expensive than ever, with college loans taking a chunk out of many millennials’ paychecks long after they graduate. Cost of living is high, while finding an entry-level job that will support a family is next to impossible. When you’re faced with the standards your parents and grandparents lived with–getting married young, easily affording that first home, and handling the cost of having children –it seems impossible to stay out of debt and still have the things you and your family deserve. Avoiding the debt cycle, however, can help you get ahead financially–and stay there.
Stay off of social media pages that encourage a buyer mentality.
This is particularly true of pages geared toward new parents. Everyone of them, from the admins to the other moms, seems determined to convince you to buy, buy, buy! The truth is, there’s no need to buy multiples of one item when one will do well enough. If you find that social media pages are encouraging you to make purchases that are rapidly draining your wallet, stop following them! Your finances will thank you.
Save up and buy quality.
When you’re stuck in a low-income spot and trying to stay out of debt, it’s tempting to buy a low-quality, low-price item instead of saving up for a higher-quality item. Unfortunately, that means that within a few weeks or months, you’ll find yourself right back in the same position! Instead, find ways to make do short-term in order to save for the higher-quality purchase. From work clothes to appliances, it’s often worth the higher price tag to invest in quality.
Prepare mentally for bigger payoffs later.
Early in your career, you may need to work for low pay or embark on expensive training programs in order to move ahead in your field. It’s alright to live frugally. Don’t be embarrassed about packing a lunch or work. Remind yourself that there are bigger payouts coming down the road and stick to your guns against debt. Don’t fall victim to the lifestyle creep (3 Keys to Avoiding Lifestyle Creep). It will make it easier to make it through the tight times.
Learn to live simply.
Minimalism is a lifestyle that’s quickly coming back. Instead of an overcrowded house that seems to be exploding at the seams, look for ways to enjoy a minimalist lifestyle. Avoid buying “stuff” just to have it. You don’t have to go full-blown minimalist, living off the grid, with a capsule wardrobe and no knick-knacks to be found anywhere, but avoid buying things you don’t need.
The trick to staying out of debt as a millennial is to avoid overspending. Avoiding excessive stuff, whether that means embracing minimalism or staying off of sites that encourage you to buy things you don’t really need, can make it easier to stay out of debt. Changing the way you think about your purchasing habits can keep you debt-free and your life moving smoothly.