While being young may mean that you’re also a bit more reckless with money, it’s clear that the steps you take today can have a massive impact on your financial future. Saving for your retirement, however, is not always easy when you have a large amount of debt hanging over your head and demanding a portion of your paycheck each month.

Use these clever tips to map out a road to a better financial situation and you might actually be able to enjoy the money you make. Learn it by heart, teach it to your kids and tell your neighbors – everybody deserves to feel financially secure and you still have a lot of time left when you’re still in your third decade.

#1 Don’t be afraid to negotiate a raise

Did you know that no more than 1 in 5 millennials negotiate their first salary? Whether it’s because they don’t know any better or because they think the salary they get is what they have to put up with, it makes little sense not to talk about money with your employer. First of all, it shows confidence and a go-get attitude that is sought after in today’s market – and, secondly, it could give your paycheck a huge boost.

Make sure you do your research first, though, and show up with the kind of figures that reveals a certain level of knowledge.

This kind of attitude may also come in handy in other areas, by the way, such as when you’re confronted with a much too high cable bill or medical expenses that simply doesn’t make sense – or when consolidating your debt to make the payment term a bit shorter. Check out consolidatestudent.loan to learn more about this and enjoy a debt-free life a bit sooner.

#2 You will always need emergency savings

A backup fund is crucial at any life stage, but perhaps even more so when you’re still young and vulnerable. Get used to putting aside a portion of your paycheck each month and make sure it’s only used in case of emergency – you’d be surprised at how many emergencies you might face where you need this backup fund.

You might lose your job, for example, encounter unexpected medical expenses or costly car repairs. Anything can happen suddenly and might cost you way more than you’ve budgeted for, so take care of this and avoid the added stress-factor. Experts say you should try to set aside between 3 to 6 months of living expenses to make sure you’re covered.

#3 Don’t compare yourself to others

While it may seem like a strange tip in terms of finances, social media can indeed give you a twisted impression of how your peers are living their lives. Seeing the apparent success of others can actually lead to overspending and even depression, so make sure you’re only comparing your prosperity to yourself and have a read about how social media affects us on bbc.com.

Rather than looking at what others are doing and achieving, ask yourself how well you are doing compared to last year. Have you saved more money, invested in something you’ve looked forward to, achieved something you didn’t have last year?

All of this will help you to live a happy and financially secure life by the time you’re a bit older, to stick to it and remember that everybody’s situation is different.

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