Are you member of "Generation Procrastination"? If your savings account and retirement plan are gathering virtual cobwebs, you probably are.
A recent retirement study by Scottrade suggests that Gen Y is getting way behind on its savings. The recession, mounting student debt and freelance or part-time jobs offering few employee benefits may be to blame for what one Scottrade spokesperson called that generation's laissez-faire attitude toward personal finances.
But saving money doesn't have to be an ordeal. Vince Maniago, group product manager at Mint, gave Mashable some simple advice for getting your personal finances into gear.
"An emergency fund is the cornerstone of having a good personal finance portfolio," Maniago says. "It can isolate you from financial catastrophe in the event of a medical emergency or needing to quickly change your housing situation. Know what you're going to do in the event of an emergency and figure out how much you have to get going toward an emergency fund. "
Next, Maniago says, "Start to get an idea of where your money is going," from necessities like rent and food to "discretionary categories" like clothing and entertainment. Then, "set up actionable goals," like financing a wedding or saving for retirement, "and start saving toward those goals."
"One thing that a young person needs to weigh is how much money they are able to put towards their retirement, especially if they're able to take advantage of a 401(k)," Maniago says. With compounding interest, the more you can afford to put toward your retirement now, the more you'll have to spend later. "Can you make a small sacrifice, like not going out every weekend night, and trade that for more retirement savings?"
We can't forcibly get you to kickstart your 401(k), but we can offer you this list of money-saving apps and digital tools for quick and easy penny-pinching.