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We millennials are the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. Read on to learn about five simple money management tips from the Gen Y perspective.

Who doesn’t love a great financial tip? And, since I have the microphone right now, who doesn’t love great financial tips specifically for Millennials—those cool kids like me who were born between 1981 and 1996 also known as Generation Y?

Not all financial tips require major adjustments to your lifestyle, the assistance of a CPA, or the need to learn what exactly a bitcoin is. Some tips are simple. And we here at Credit One Bank’s Millennial Writers Headquarters are all about making things simple.

So, without further ado, here are five SIMPLE money management tips—from the Gen Y perspective—that will put some extra pep in your financial step.

Energetic young woman smiling and dancing along a sidewalk Energetic young woman smiling and dancing along a sidewalk

Tip 1: Keep an eye on your subscriptions

There are a million subscription services out there these days. And, if you aren’t careful, you may find yourself paying the same amount of money—or more—in subscription fees than what you were paying before you so proudly announced on social media (and to anyone else that would listen) that you cut the cord. In fact, our average monthly spend on subscription services (video streaming, music, food, etc.) is $214.

Luckily, there are some simple ways to reel it back in and save a few bucks:

  • Maybe your favorite show isn’t currently on the air? Consider canceling the service until that show is back. This is what the kids these days call churn and return.
  • Search for cheaper ad-supported options, discounts, bundles, or subscription tiers. Did you know many businesses offer deals along with a purchase of their service? Your cell phone carrier may offer free Netflix, and you didn’t even know (until now).
  • Consider a family plan and split it with your brother, sister, or parents.

Tip 2: Get that coffee habit in check

Close-up of a recyclable coffee cup as a young woman grabs with two hands Close-up of a recyclable coffee cup as a young woman grabs with two hands

According to the National Coffee Association, Americans drink 656 million cups of coffee per day—with out-of-home coffee consumption up 16% since January 2021. If you combine that with the fact that the average cost of a cup of coffee is going up (thanks a lot inflation, supply chain issues, and climate change!), your caffeinated obsession may be causing you to spend a latte more on coffee than you may want.

So, if you are one of these coffee-craving consumers, think about what else you could do with that money—or even a portion of that money—if you stopped buying those venti double-espresso lattes with almond milk and a half pump of this and that. Or at least reduce the amount that you buy per day/week/month. 

You can save money by making your morning cup of joe at home rather than buying it at your favorite coffee shop. Or, as awful as it may sound, you can replace that afternoon coffee with a cheaper “wake me up” like a glass of water and a walk—both free, last I checked.

Tip 3: Tune in for tips

There are a lot of helpful, entertaining, and easily digestible financial resources out there (cough cough…Credit One Central).

Programming note: This is in no way an endorsement of any specific resource (except for Credit One Central). Just simply a partial list of some options available to you. Did I mention Credit One Central?

  • YouTube offers a seemingly endless rabbit hole of financial channels and videos—you just have to dig in and find one that speaks to you. Or, perhaps you happen upon a financial tips article written specifically with you in mind that conveniently provides a couple “best of” lists to save you some search time…Like this one…or this one.
  • Podcasts are a great way to learn from experts while also multi-tasking on work, folding clothes, or any other activity that can be combined with earbuds. Some popular financial-focused podcasts include the Millennial Money Podcast, The Dave Ramsey Show, and more…and more.
  • Or you can keep it old-school and read a book on your preferred financial topic. There are too many great ones to possibly list in this article, so check out a couple of “best of” lists here and here.

Tip 4: Let tech work for you

You may be the last generation to remember a time before the internet was everything and when a no-skip portable CD player was the highest of hi-tech, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of technology today to enrich your finances.

  • Be friends with autopay—you’ve got enough going on in your life (work, kids, why your back suddenly hurts for no reason at all), so set your bills to be paid automatically and worry about other things.
  • Set up your paychecks to automatically deposit specific amounts into separate accounts for different purposes. Think of it as paying yourself first before you use the money on other things. It’s a great way to help you budget (maybe the 50/30/20 method?).
  • Consider financial apps. Just like the different educational resources mentioned in the previous tip, there are a plethora of solid options just a download away that can help you budget, find coupons, invest, etc.

Tip 5: Dine wiser

We love our food. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 study, Millennials spend 37% of total food expenditures on food away from home. While that number likely has come down some since 2020 (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), it’s still a decent chunk of change that can be saved if one were to change their dinner plans.

  • The easiest recipe for saving money on food is to cook at home rather than eat out at a restaurant.
  • Planning a dinner with friends? Try doing it potluck style. Everyone can bring something tasty to try, you’ll still enjoy each other’s company, and there’s no cost or burden on one person to host.
  • If you do decide to eat out, look for discounts and coupons—both online and printed. Many apps will help you score discounts to dine.

These are just a few simple tips to help you, my fellow Millennials, save some money as you go through this crazy thing called life. There are a lot of money management tips and resources out there—some big and some small—and it’s important to find the ones that help make your financial situation a positive one.


About the author:

Marc Klein

With his eyes set on becoming the next great ad man (at least until his comedy writing career took off), Marc earned his journalism degree and went straight into advertising for various gaming and tourism clients. He later expanded his credentials to include public affairs and communications work for several environmental science organizations before returning to his marketing roots. A lifelong scholar with recent studies in strategic communication, Marc enjoys tying humor into his writing and simplifying complex financial subjects into engaging and easy-to-digest content for a wide variety of audiences.

This material is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified tax advisor, attorney or financial advisor. Readers should consult with their own tax advisor, attorney or financial advisor with regard to their personal situations.