Millennial Millionaires: How the Brokest Generation Can Also Become the Richest

Recently, Wells Fargo and GfK surveyed 1,005 employed Millennials. The majority (64%) of Millennials polled said that they don't believe they will ever accumulate $1 million during their lifetimes. Furthermore, many also said they had not started saving for retirement and were feeling overwhelmed with student debt.

Getting your finances on track in your 20s and after college is hard, but any Millennial can become a millionaire in their lifetime with the right steps.

Start Saving for Retirement

The number one way to become a millionaire in your lifetime is to invest in your retirement early and often. Don't keep putting it off, because youth means you have the power of compound interest on your side. It will take you less effort to save money now than it will take you when you try to play catch up 10 or more years later.

Don't even worry if you aren't at your dream position quite yet. Take advantage of your company's 401K contribution match. If your company doesn't offer a retirement fund or you are self-employed, there are still many options for you.

See also: Which Retirement Account Is Right for You?

If you are currently saving 0% toward your retirement, then start with 3 percent. Saving 3 percent of your income is quite painless. Increase this percentage frequently until you are contributing 15% of your income to retirement.

While this might seem like a daunting task when you are living paycheck to paycheck, it can be done. Having your retirement investments taken out before payday forces you to adjust to living with a smaller budget, and you also get the bonus of a nice tax break.

Shift Your Way of Thinking

If you spend trying to impress others, you will never have a bank account that actually impresses others. Live below your means and be realistic with what you really need.

Remember that the way you live right after college is not a forever thing if you are frugal. When you are unmarried and without children, it is easier to share a living space or live on a bare-bones budget to optimize your savings. Live as frugally as possible now so that you can enjoy living when you are in your next season of life.

See also: The Frugal Living Commencement Speech I'd Give to My Younger Self

Tackle Debt From All Angles

In the survey, 34% of Millennials reported an average of $19,978 of debt. Of those with student loan debt, 75% described their debt load as unmanageable. Don't carry your debt with you, allowing it to drag along like a burdensome weight.

Instead, find ways to tackle your debt from many different angles. Here are just a few solutions:

The faster you can pay off your debt, the freer you will feel financially.

Earn Experience — Not Degrees

Degrees are certainly valuable and necessary in many fields, but in some, the pay difference is not that drastic. Instead, focus on growing your experience and career path each year. Take advantage of company-paid training and develop your skills. Then, start planning for more senior, better-compensated roles by asking people in your dream job how they got there. The road to success may not be paved with gold, but there may be a pot of gold at the end of it for those who plan carefully and work intelligently.

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