Don't Be Broke, Be Woke: Best Articles & Apps to Help You Stay Afloat This Holiday Season

A couple of friends and I had dinner over the weekend, and my boyfriend started talking about the FIRE movement—that is the Financially Independent & Retired Early movement. Now, I had never heard of this movement before, I am not even sure its a thing yet—but regardless, I want in!

In today’s day and age we have so many products and material items competing for our attention that it is often hard to remain disciplined and avoid impulse shopping, especially around the holidays. Generally, we are not thinking in future-forward ways, and are unconcerned with building sustainable wealth. Yeah, we’re young—we should have fun and occasionally flex, but that flex isn’t going to be cute when you’re sitting on a pile of debt.

The good news is that savings and investment knowledge is becoming increasingly more accessible to broader demographics and the results are beginning to show amongst millennials. In preparation for a marketing presentation I gave last week, I did a little research on millennial spending habits. Unlike previous generations, they are saving more and spending less. Here are a few key indicators

  • 38% of millennials are saving 51% of their income

  • 53% of millennials age 18-34 say they always look for promos and sales in comparison to 40% of those ages 55 and older

  • ·81% of US female internet users occasionally indulge but make sure they get the best deal

Source: (Emarketer, https://content-na1.emarketer.com/millennials-frugal-or-frivolous)

Does this sound like you? If so, you’re on the right track!

However, what many financial literacy articles fail to mention is the enormous debt many millennials have incurred, which often offsets whatever savings they’ve been able to accumulate.

  • As of 2016, 40% of Millennial run households owed a median debt amount of $19,000, primarily due to student loans. Of this 40%, the majority were women, as women are more likely to attend college.

Source: (Emarketer, https://content-na1.emarketer.com/millennials-frugal-or-frivolous)

If this also sounds like you, there’s no reason to be ashamed or guilty. However, especially around the holidays when ~40% of Americans feel pressure to overspend, its important that we all take steps to maintain healthy financial goals. For this guide, I’ve collected advice from some of the best financial experts in the industry so that you can start building a brighter financial future before Black Friday tries to steer you in the wrong direction.

Here are some of the best articles I’ve read so far on healthy holiday spending and financial literacy:

  1. Stephanie Stock, “How to Save 1000 dollars At Any Salary Level” https://www.girlboss.com/money/how-to-save-1000

  2. Elizabeth Hoyt, “The Five Key Components of Financial Literacy” : https://www.fastweb.com/student-life/articles/the-5-key-components-of-financial-literacy

  3. Kate Ashford, “Try These 12 Things to Avoid Holiday Overspending”:     https://www.forbes.com/sites/kateashford/2014/11/21/holiday-overspending/#2dc5dcfa13bc

  4. Reyna Gobel, “8 Tips To Help You Control Spending”: https://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/08/speding-holiday.asp

  5. H. Jude Boudreaux, “5 Secrets To Saving For The Future While Enjoying Life Now”: http://time.com/money/2967676/save-future-enjoy-life-now/

  6. Stephanie Taylor Christensen, “How To Start Investing Your Money”: https://learnvest.com/article/how-to-start-investing-your-money

Best Personal Finance Apps to keep you on track while you’re on the go!

  1. Mint: Budgets, Bills and Credit Score all in one place.

  2. YNAB( You Need a Budget): Best app for getting out of debt.

  3. Robinhood: Let’s you invest in the stock market with no fees directly from you phone and desktop.

Happy Holidays—hope you shop smart so you can save smart!