Our generation that grew up watching entrepreneurs likes Mark Zuckerberg create billion-dollar empires from scratch are poised to become the greatest group of innovators in history. Yet according to the Wall Street Journal, 41.4 percent of those under 35 are burdened by student loan debt and are entering a workforce with prohibitive unemployment levels.
So how are we supposed to save money for our dreams — buying a home, launching a business, or maybe actually retiring someday — while working at an entry-level job and living paycheck-to-paycheck?
Our current jobs may be a temporary stop on our way up the career ladder, but that doesn’t mean we can afford to wait; here’s how we can build our savings alongside our success.
How to Save Money Despite a Modest Income
1. Ditch the Car: Did you know that owning a car costs upwards of $9,000 a year? It might seem easier to drive to work, but biking or taking public transportation is one of the best ways to cut monthly expenses. Just imagine what your savings account could look like without that drain on your budget.
2. Start a Side Hustle: You don’t have to be limited by your 9 to 5, nor do you need to slave away at two full-time jobs just to scrape by. By the government’s last estimate, there were 42 million independent workers in the United States, or about one-third of the workforce.
Try becoming a driver for services like Lyft and Uber. If you’re a talented writer or designer, start freelancing. Sites like Fivver, oDesk and Craigslist can help you find gigs.
3. Pay Yourself First: The most difficult step is making the commitment to pay yourself before any bill or expense. That means putting money into your savings right when you get paid, even if it’s only $5. The “pay yourself first” system is a proven method of building wealth and will help develop a strong savings habit no matter your financial situation.
Big dreams, a desire to succeed, and a commitment to your savings plan will help you lay the groundwork for future success well before that next big raise. Make the decision to start saving today and you’ll find yourself well ahead of your peers when the dreams you’re working toward come to fruition.