In case you hadn’t heard, being a millennial sucks. Not only are we destined to work until we die according to this recent Politico report, but we’re also earning less, spending more and doomed to eat avocados forever (a fate worse than death, if you ask me), if stereotypes are anything to go by. As such, the chocolate box future involving white picket fences and bluebirds twittering at the window that Disney promised us is looking less and less likely. After all, this is a post-recession world and we’re all barely living in it.
It’s not all bad though. Faced with such depressing statistics, the millennial generation has shown much more resilience than it’s often given credit for. We’re generally more self-aware and creatively driven than older generations, meaning we’re finding other ways to save for the future, rather than just relying on the Bank of Mum and Dad.
Of course, living in London can feel like a constant attack on our good financial intentions. Between the brunches stopping us from saving for a deposit (apparently), and the astronomical cost of rented accommodation, the money in our bank accounts has become to us what David Beckham has become to the public – far too easy to access, totally unruly, and constantly diminishing.
Even so, no matter the size of your disposable income, there are still ways to create a nest egg for the future. To help you in your quest to save money, we scoured the net to find the best advice for putting away your extra cash.
Get your debts under control
First things first, if you’ve got debts, it’s best to pay these off before you do anything else. As the Money Saving Expert points out, ‘the interest on your debts is much higher than the interest earned on your savings’ so if like me, you find that your cash escapes your wallet faster than Houdini could get out of a tricky bind, it might be time to take action. Getting into the habit of budgeting your money is the best way to tackle this and doesn’t have to be painful – initiatives such as the Monzo card can really help, allowing you to create spending limits for different things – such as holidays, eating out, and groceries – and track where your money actually goes.
Build a cash buffer
Once your debt is under control, you can actually start stockpiling the cash (well, sort of). It may seem impossible to save anything when you’re barely scraping by, but there are ways to put aside a little every month. The Chip app calculates what it can save based on the funds in your account without you really noticing – which seems much less painful than putting away a lump sum at the beginning of the month. Suddenly have to fork out for a gas bill? That’s when you can turn to Chip for that little cash buffer you didn’t even remember you were saving.
Look into opening an ISA
Sure, ISAs aren’t a terribly sexy way to save your money, but they’re certainly one of the savviest. Under the Conservative government, millennials have been offered the Help to Buy ISA as a way to save for their first home (something that can seem like a distant dream in this day and age). Allowing you to deposit an initial £1,200 and subsequent £200 a month, you can put away as much as £12,000 and receive a government return of 25 percent. This is one of the best returns on an investment you’ll find on the market but, as always, the devil is in the detail – you need to have completed a sale before you can claim that extra three grand.
Invest in the things you care about
That old adage of ‘making your money work for you’ is a cliché for a reason. Investing – risking money in the hope of a better return – remains one of the quickest ways to grow money. According to recent research, 67 percent of millennials are looking for investments that mirror their values.
As Victor Trokoudes, the CEO and founder of investment app Plum says, ‘many people see investing as an alien topic, but we want it to be available for everybody. When you consider the amount of money that sits in UK bank accounts losing value due to inflation, it’s clear to see that people need easier access to better returns.’ The app, which has recently opened a waitlist for its investment portfolio, allows users to invest as much or as little (even £1) as they like in ventures of their choosing, helping them to grow their money with a clear conscience.
As Grant Sabatier, founder of Millennial Money points out, ‘we live in a world where people are trying to take both your money and your time.’ As such, saving can often seem like an impossible dream. But by making savvy financial decisions however and wherever you can, you might just get your version of a white picket fence after all.
Disclaimer Foundry Fox has gained this information from what it believes to be reliable sources but would always advise you to seek professional advice before making big financial decisions.