Millennials, it’s time to make an end of year money checklist. Before you pop open any champagne for New Year’s Eve, make sure that your money is ready for 2017.
It’s important that Millennials get their financial house in order at the end of the year. With most of us carrying student loan debt, and the oldest Millennials reaching their mid-30’s this year, checking in with our money is a necessary step.
I like to see my money work for me (since I work so hard for it!), and keeping tabs on it helps me maximize my returns. Wrap up 2016 like the boss that you are with our money checklist for Millennials.
-Check your retirement contribution rate and allocations to see if everything is on track. All 401k contributions for 2016 must be done by 12/31. If you have an IRA you can make contributions for 2016 until April 2017.
If your portfolio isn’t weighted the way you want it to, talk to your advisor or change it yourself. You’ll have to choose how aggressive you feel comfortable being with your stocks, but a good general rule is younger people can be more aggressive than older folks.
-Check your credit score. As more Millennials head into their 30’s, credit scores become much more important. It’s a key part of buying a car or a house, and some companies will check it before they hire you. If your score is between 600-640, make it a goal to reach 700 in the new year. If you’re at 700 or above, you’re doing well! The higher the better when it comes to credit scores.
-Organize your savings accounts. The easiest way to save for multiple goals at a time is to have different savings accounts for each goal. Piling it all into one account can get messy. Open up a different account for each goal: one for travel, one for a down payment, and one for an emergency fund. You’ll know exactly how much progress you’re making towards each goal. Plus, when you take the money out to use, other goals won’t be affected.
-Analyze your credit card debt. If you’ve taken on debt from the holidays, or you’ve been carrying debt for months, paying it off will be priority number one in the new year. Credit card debt has some of the highest interest rates you’ll find anywhere. Paying down your debt will free up more money for you, and will probably give your credit score a boost.
Use these steps as a springboard to check your finances all over. Millennial money is unique, and our needs are different from any other generation. Get your money working for you now and reap the benefits later.