A general view of millennials is that they are big spenders and are not focused on savings. They are a generation focused on entertainment, frivolous extras, and expensive technology gadgets.

Yet, this article references a recent survey reporting that 53% of millennials studied think about their financial future daily. In addition, one in four participants is confident they will achieve their future lifestyle goals. These results do not support the millennial stereotype I initially outlined.

Still, there are real and unique challenges many millennials have to face: a highly competitive job market, sky high student loan debt, and inadequate finance 101 education in school.

Recognizing these hurdles, here are 5 tips that can help:

1. Understand student loans- with $1.3 trillion dollars in US student loan debt figure out how you should pay these loans, with what frequency, and stick to it! 2. Understand bank fees- overdraft fees and ATM fees are very common and often end up creating unnecessary headaches. Do your homework and do business with a bank that won't charge these unnecessary fees. 3. Take advantage of your employer match- this goes for everyone, not just millennials. Make sure you understand your 401(k) plan, how it works, what investments are available, and how much you need to contribute to receive your employer match. Work with an advisor to pick suitable investments for you. 4. Have an emergency fund- if you have unexpected medical expenses, lose your job, or are unable to work make sure you have some money set aside for living expenses until you have a long term plan in place. 5. Get a financial advisor- many young people think "I don't have a lot of money....what do I need an advisor for?" Regardless of how much you are saving or what your income is you should have a financial advisor. Advisors help answer questions and can help create a plan with you to navigate your financial goals and major life changes as they come. By having an advisor early in your adult life and maintaining that relationship you are giving yourself an advantage by creating a solid foundation to accomplish your future goals.

I would argue that millennials are not necessarily the generation focused on entertainment, frivolous extras, and expensive technology gadgets. Rather, they are a generation with a great desire to succeed and accomplish terrific things.

Focus, hard work, patience, and steadfast financial planning from the start are the best steps any of us can take to create our desired futures.

Caroline Hill, Financial Advisor


(This article contains the current opinions of the author but not necessarily those of Brighton Securities Corp. The author's opinions are subject to change without notice. This blog post is for informational purposes only. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. References to specific securities and their issuers are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended and should not be interpreted as recommendations to purchase or sell such securities).