Millennials and Gen Zers are famously tech-savvy. However, despite the proliferation of financial apps, money management still poses a challenge to many. With the use of budgeting apps and other financial tools, both Millennials and Gen Zers can get a handle on their finances and start building a strong foundation that will carry them into middle age and beyond.
While there are many different financial tools that these generations can use to manage their finances, Millennials and Gen Zers would benefit most by focusing on the following categories:
- Budgeting applications
- Peer-to-peer payment services
- Micro-investing apps
- Credit monitoring apps
Everyone needs a budget. It doesn’t matter if you’re a venture capitalist who has been investing in successful companies for years or a recent college grad who is starting their first office job. By tracking your spending, it becomes easier to determine how much you can set aside for investments, stash in a rainy-day fund, and put towards your weekend fun.
- Various applications: there are many different budgeting apps out there, but for Millennials and Gen Zers who are well acquainted with mobile-based apps, there are a few standout options. Scroll through the app store, see which have received the highest ratings, and read the app summary to see if the services they offer fits your personal financial profile.
- Great for freelancers: It’s hard to understate how important budgeting apps are for freelancers, who make up an increasingly large portion of the job market. When your month-to-month earnings may be inconsistent, a financial road map can be the difference between accidentally stumbling into a financial hole and establishing a robust financial foundation.
Peer-To-Peer Payment Services
Ask any Millennial or Gen Zer which financial tools they use most frequently, and apps like Venmo will invariably be at the top of the list.
- Easy to pay friends: Peer-to-peer payment services make it easier to transfer money to friends on the go, split tabs at restaurants, and pay each other back for concert or movie tickets.
- Convenient for lump sums: While most think of these services as a way to transfer small amounts of money between friends, they can also be used to handle larger payments, like monthly rent. The convenience of instantly transferring large sums, instead of having to cut checks or take additional steps to exchange money, can both mitigate stress and make it easier to focus on larger financial issues like loan or debt management.
It’s never too early to start investing, but it can be hard to convince Millennials and Gen Zers to put money down when the payoff may be decades away. However, if you start investing in your 20s, by the time you’re considering local mortgage rates and attempting to buy your first home or car, you might have grown your wealth in a way that vastly increases the number of options available to you.
There’s also a misconception that investing requires hundreds or even thousands of dollars to get started. While these kinds of installments may be out of reach for many Millennials and Gen Zers just starting their careers, micro-investment apps allow users to invest their pocket change, or small amounts like $10 and $20 at intervals of their choosing.
While micro-investing probably won’t make you rich overnight, they are a great way for Millennials and Gen Zers to introduce themselves to the world of investing. Simply using these apps is a great way to become acquainted with the stock market and the different types of securities that they can invest in.
Our credit score is perhaps the most important number related to our finances that is not our net worth. Our credit scores determine whether we can receive loans, open credit cards, lease automobiles, or secure mortgages for our homes. It’s essentially your trustworthiness as a numerical value. Both Millennials and Gen Zers should track and cultivate their credit score, and there are myriad financial tools that can help.
These tools vary in complexity, but the best will both evaluate your credit score and suggest ways that you can improve it.
Unlike past generations, Millennials and Gen Zers have countless financial tools at their disposal to help them manage their finances and plan for the future. Most of these tools exist just beyond their fingertips, buried in their mobile phone’s app store. By researching these apps, these generations have the ability to situate themselves for a successful and secure financial future.