How Millennials Save Money
by Kara Daniels
My full-time job is in the field of Personal Finance. I handle over 60 individual’s finances daily. I have been doing this for almost five years which would lead one to believe I have my own finances in tiptop condition, but one would, in fact, be wrong.
The infamous “they” say that us millennials are less about saving than most others. They find this to be true due to our “one life” mentality that prefers to spend our money on experiences and traveling. Because we could work every day, contributing to our 401K and retirement funds but what if we die tomorrow and never get to enjoy that money?
Well, I’d like to not live with the idea that I’ll be leaving this Earth tomorrow which entices me to want to improve my saving habits.
If you have a car, who is to say the transmission isn’t going to go out tomorrow. Or maybe you’ll take your car to the dealership to get new brake pads put on and walk out having spent $500 more than you ever would have imagined. This sounds familiar because this was me a month ago. I’m still drying my tears.
If you have a pet, who is to say that some accident doesn’t occur next week where you have to spend a couple hundred or even thousands in order to keep them alive. I have a friend that actually saves to make sure they have enough money set aside to cover any unexpected medical expenses for their dog because they’re responsible and that’s how much they love their dog. People run into this sad dilemma every day. I started to feel awful that I didn’t have money saved in case of this kind of emergency and so I’m now on my way to being a better dog-mom.
Now, I don’t have so much money that I just don’t know what to do with and just decided to start saving. I actually classify myself as the broke college graduate that often laughs when current college students refer to themselves as broke college kids because I feel poorer now than I did in college. Cue school loan payments kicking in.
My point is that even if you’re only saving a few dollars here and there, you’re still saving. It adds up.
I create budgets daily at my job. And yet, I am still awful at budgeting my own money.
So, I started using apps that save for me. I first tried Digit. I loved the idea of saving without noticing, except after the first so many days of using it, they charge you a monthly fee. That seemed like an oxymoron to me. Even if it was just $2.99/month. Their features were alright, but I found something better.
I’ve been a dedicated user for a couple months now. Long enough to feel confident in sharing about how well it has worked for me, without any problems or complaints.
- Easily link it to your bank account
- Your funds are FDIC assured
- You can have as many savings accounts/goals as you want (ok, I have at least 4 and they haven’t stopped me yet)
- They stop withdrawing money from your bank account the moment the balance is less than $100 to avoid overdrafts
- Pause your savings at any time
- It’s an app on your phone you can access at any time
- You can create several different “rules” for your goals (this is how it saves for you)
- My favourite rules to use:
- a “round-up” rule saves the change every time you make a purchase (not noticeable)
- the “set & forget” rule saves just $1 (or however much you want) every day, week, or month ($1/day adds up!)
- There is an option to get a Qapital VISA debit card where you’ll earn interest on all your savings (I didn’t opt into this yet, it’s not necessary but a good way to earn more money)
- Easily withdraw and transfer your savings to your bank account at any time (only taking 2 business days to arrive)
Thus far, this has been the best discovery of 2018 for me. I mostly enjoy that I can separate my savings goals, instead of just having $2,000 in one savings account. That makes me think, “Oh, I have savings!” but when you break it down, would that cover a pet emergency, a medical emergency for myself, and a car breakdown expense? I’m a visual person, so seeing my goals and savings separately makes me feel a lot better. I even started a Christmas 2018 savings goal, because if I save just $2 per day, I’ll have enough to buy all my presents by the time Christmas comes. Cool, right?
You can get $5 toward your first goal just by signing up through my link. Because that’s already like a free cup of coffee and you’re maybe just insane if you turn that down.
If you’ve found any better savings apps or have any tips on ways to save, please share!