Investing Tips for the Millennial woman

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

Our 20s are hard, but being in your 30s presents a whole new set of challenges. Women in their 30s are expected to achieve more and therefore, they find themselves going down life paths differently. The great thing is, your 30s bring a greater level of self-awareness and since rethinking about the future tends to take a centre stage for most, this is the perfect time to choose the best investment opportunities. 

We’ve all heard the stereotypes: Women are shopaholics racking up credit card charges to add one more pair of shoes to an already overflowing closet, while men bring home the bacon and are savvy investors that understand how to manage money and take advantage of opportunities. These clichéd images have overtime been reinforced by the media and popular culture.

When it comes to investing, a number of studies have revealed that men and women invest differently. Gender differences in investment approach, perspective and experience can enhance long-term investing success. Women have been classified as being less confident, not keen on investing in the stock market and massive spenders. Whilst on the other hand, the same women can be seen as being more open to seeking guidance, more patient and a trend has been seen on millennial women who are investing more than their predecessor. Well, to the millennial women in their 30s who are seeking to change the narrative this year and START, here are a few tips on investing:

Before going big on investment:

1. Educate Yourself

Before diving into strategies that claim to give you a better financial future, carve out some time to learn about money management and investments.

2. Set Clear Financial Goals

If you don’t have a set goal to work towards, it can be hard to find the passion or drive to save. Whether it’s a house you’ve been eyeing or your retirement, carefully defining these goals and figuring out how much you’ll need to save can help you craft a better plan for getting there. 

3. Make a budget and stick to it. 

The first step is to gather all your bills and pay remains, then plan your budget for the month according to your income and your expenses. 

4. Save for Retirement:  

Let’s get real, we are all getting old, why not start saving now so that we are not drowned in worry later!

5. Avoid Consumer Debt

Some debt like mortgages and student loans are OK to take on if they fit in with your overall budget. In a consumer-driven society, it’s incredibly easy to live beyond your means; a good rule of thumb is to try and save at least 15% of your income  and always spend less than you make.

6. Use Missteps to Help You Learn and Grow

As the famous saying goes, experience is the best teacher. Instead of being ashamed of past financial missteps, learn from them and make better decisions.

7. Put Your Savings on Autopilot

Have your savings contributions automatically deducted from your paycheck and/or direct deposit into an investment account. If you put money aside before you even see it, you’ll tend to not miss it.

8. Always Take Free Money:

You should never turn down free money—your nest egg will grow faster, if your employers march a percentage of your benefit contribution, take it up sis!

9. Don’t Let the Financial World Intimidate You

A good percentage of personal finance is not financial education, but financial behaviour. If you can modify your behaviour with your finances, you can modify your financial future. 

Contrary to popular belief you don’t need to be a financial expert to start investing, budgeting or preparing for emergencies. All you really need to do is work on building a solid plan and committing to it. As the American poet Carl Sandburg said, “Money is power, freedom, a cushion, the root of all evil, the sum of blessings.”

Have an investmentfull year! 

Soila Kenya: My experience surviving as a Millennial in the workplace

Millennial. Ugh, I hate that word.

But you know what? It’s what I am. I am a person coming to young adulthood in the early 21st century. However, the reason I feel ashamed to be related to this group is all the media-bashing toward us.

In fact, in 2013, Time Magazine ran a cover story entitled ‘Millennials: The Me Me Me Generation’, and if you Google “millennials”, you will come across several negative articles citing our failings.

Well, in the last quarter of 2017, I got a job at Code for Africa, a non-profit organization.

Admittedly, I work with a young group of people, but nevertheless, work is work and at the end of the day I had to deliver results.

Here are a few things I learned about meeting work expectations, even while being the part of the ‘lazy’ ‘self-centered’ generation.

It’s time to drop the negative connotations associated with the millennial generation Click To Tweet

Get rid of distractions

The world is going paperless. And so it is at work, you will be on your laptop throughout. But not only will you have access to your email accounts and work-related Google docs, but also Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the bottomless pit called Google search engine.

It is difficult to get anything done within the work day if you cannot regulate your usage of these time-consuming apps. From my experience, it is best to close all tabs except those ones you are using to get your work done and refrain from opening any leisure related apps with your laptop.

Instead, set a goal to only use your phone for social media, as it is way more obvious for everyone to tell you are not concentrating on your work if you are tapping away on your phone.

 

Work in small bursts of focused concentration

This goes hand in hand with distractions. To ease you into the idea of concentrating solely on work, work in small bursts of 20 – 30 minutes.

Pick a small task and aim to finish it within that time. Then reward yourself with a check-up on your WhatsApp or use the time to go grab a cup of coffee. Then pick another task and repeat.

At midday, take an hour off your desk and go grab lunch preferably outside your work building. I found that you get a rejuvenating boost once you are away from your work for a while and will get more done when you come back as your mind is refreshed.

 

Respect co-workers

We all have different personalities and as millennials, you are already walking in with several perceptions hanging over your head like Damocles’ sword.

Try and keep an open mind and ignore all past stereotypes that may or may not exist.

Remember, you’re all there to get the job done. Focus on that. Give proper respect to all your colleagues and you will slowly earn it back too. People respect other people who are cordial and are focused on their common goals.

Always think of ways you can be helpful and do all your assignments with as much detail as possible. The trick is to be consistently reliable.

 

Set a daily routine

A routine will help your body adjust to your schedule and therefore, you’ll be able to get more done. Have a standard wake-up time, which should be early enough to give you enough free time to do some light exercise.

Working out in the morning is the best option as it clears your mind and instills the discipline that will seep into all sectors of your life. Whether it’s a busy week at work or not, stick to this schedule. This will lend to your overall amount of energy throughout the day.

 

Ask when not sure about something

There’s a time to pretend you know how to get the job done then go figure it out later. This is not it.

Under tight deadlines and situations where you are working with others, let go of your pride/ego/millennial ‘wokeness’ and simply ask for help on how to carry out certain tasks.

You’ll get it done quickly without wasting time asking Uncle Google.

Whether you’re an intern, a fellow, a full-time working employee and you happen to fall into the millennial bracket, it’s time to drop the negative connotations associated with the generation and prove that we can work just as good as anyone else.


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