Don’t let the title mislead you—‘broke’ and ‘successful’ really aren’t mutually exclusive. Your success doesn’t equate to a boatload of zeroes in your bank account. Money is important, but working yourself to the bone at a job you only mildly enjoy (or even hate) isn’t going to give you the relationship with success you want. In fact, most likely it’ll just burn you out and leave you searching for something more.
Millennials have been labeled as the first generation to be worse off than their parents. The old adage of ‘study hard, get a good job and buy house’ doesn’t necessarily guarantee a blossoming career with complete financial freedom. With issues like a competitive job market and crippling student loan debt, many young professionals, like you, are doing their best just to stay afloat.
But, the challenges Millennials face also give them a competitive advantage in the professional world. Utilizing your passion, innovation and abilities to collaborate is one of the first steps you can take to diversify your work portfolio or embark on a new business venture. It’s all about getting creative with your assets.
Use broke & successful to your advantage
Figure out how you define success
For most Millennials, simply having a paycheck is not enough for a fulfilling career. Young professionals want a job with purpose. This can range from humanitarian work to social entrepreneurship.
Ask yourself: do you like what you do?
If the answer is yes, then you need to work on maximizing the money you are already making.
If it’s no, then evaluate what it is that doesn’t quite fulfill your goals or expectations.
Budget your absolute necessities
Whether you are happy where you are or have decided you need to make some career changes, scrutinizing your expenses in detail will help you free up some extra cash for other areas of your life.
Try finding a more affordable gym membership, or cut your grocery bill by using coupons. Consider downsizing your cable package, biking to work or limiting nights out to once or twice a week. . Try to invest in products that may cost a little more, but won’t need replaced in 6 months—like a good pair of leather shoes. These little tweaks may not seem like much, but they add up and help build a cushion.
Build your network
Utilize professional social networks. LinkedIn is just one among many, and is an easy way to connect with professionals in your field without spending any money. You’ll find that career veterans are usually more than willing to share advice and pointers if you simply reach out and ask.
Do more with less
If you own a business, try reducing your expenses by changing where and how you purchase supplies. Wholesalers generally have better prices and reduce even further if you buy in bulk. For example, if you’ve just opened up a new B&B and don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on new linens and towels, search the Internet for discount wholesalers with quality products. You’ll not only save money, but also be able to provide the comfort guests expect when they come to stay.
Find a way to give back
Millennials also desire to pursue social initiatives that feed their passions, but often find they don’t have the extra cash to give generously. This is no longer a problem. Do have a passion for saving Italian art, for example, but don’t know how you can get involved? There are now crowdfunding platforms designed specifically to support these types of projects. You can donate what you’re able and still play an influential role in the initiative.
No matter how little you make, it is always possible to save. One handy tool that can help you is Digit Savings. It is a program set up to deduct an amount based on what’s already in your bank account every week, allowing you to save without even thinking about it. You can also boost your savings by referring friends to their services.
Check off some bucket list items
Finally, just because you have a limited budget, doesn’t mean you are limited to your house every day. Your life-work balance is fed by pursuing things you love to do. Make it a priority to check one item off at least once a year or every six months (depending on the activity). Start planning early by researching ways to travel on a budget. You’d be surprised how easy it can be. You don’t have to have a big pocket book to enjoy some of the finer things in life.