Budgeting & Saving

Millennials & Money: Who does Gen Y Trust?

Picture this: you’re 26 years old and have just received the first significant bonus of your blossoming career. You’re trying to figure out how you might spend the money: should you travel or go on a shopping spree? Take in a weekend music festival with friends? On the other hand, you may be thinking about making a dent in the debt you’ve accumulated—or even considering putting a portion away to benefit your financial future. So, who can you turn to for solid financial advice?

According to Fidelity Investments’ first-ever Millennial Money Study, far too many Millennials (aka Gen Y, born 1980-1989) struggle to answer that question. When asked who they trust most for information on money matters, one third (33 percent) of Gen Y-ers identify their parents as the top choice, but almost one in four (23 percent) indicate they trust “no one” when it comes to advice about money, making it the second most common response. (Note: Watch a video of Millennials sharing their fears and tips on handling their finances.)

Looking for more information on managing your finances? After checking out the posts, videos, and resources offered here at, check out Fidelity’s MyMoney website. The web site has tools, videos and a wealth of resources targeted to people at the early stages of their investing lives, helping them tackle financial challenges and build plans for the future.

Millennials, do you really trust no one? Or are you just looking for a trustworthy institution?

Originally posted 2014-10-13 16:27:46.


What to Consider Before Accepting a New Job

After analyzing 120 years of research and synthesizing 92 quantitative studies, Harvard Business Review has revealed that “the association between job satisfaction and salary is very weak.” More than a high salary, we want satisfying work. After all, work gives purpose. Being happy at work is really a matter of being happy with life. And even with those that are happy at their current job, a recent study from Fidelity Investments shows that 49 percent, nearly half, of millennial professionals are actively looking or open to a new opportunity.

When comparing a new job offer with an existing position, it is easy to simply compare salary. While salary is still an important consideration; it is not the most important. What are the other non-financial factors to consider before accepting a job?

1) Job Benefits

Before accepting a job, consider the benefits: medical, dental, vision, an employee stock purchase program and/or 401(k) match, etc. How much value do these carry for you? Will you use them? This job offer evaluator tool from Fidelity can help you make the decision as you compare the numbers.

For evaluating benefits, it’s important to think ahead. For instance, medical costs may not be expensive for you right now, but what about in the years ahead? Perhaps you’re paying back student loans now so the 401(k) is not your foremost thought. Consider how enticing a 401(k) match may be in the future. Consider the difference in benefits between the two jobs.

2) Company Culture

Company culture is another important consideration. Ask yourself, “Would I really like it here?” What are the people like as individuals? What are they like as a team? Will they help foster your growth? Or is the culture conceited? People enjoy working with others they enjoy. Just as in college, working with friends makes all the difference.

3) Work Environment

Consider the environment as well. Is the building a pleasant place to be? Would you have good hardware and software? How are the break rooms? How is the parking? If you have allergies or are otherwise sensitive, how is the air quality in the building? These aspects seem relatively small when interviewing. But they are things you’ll need to deal with on a day-to-day basis. It’s best to work in a pleasant environment. If the job is good but the environment is lacking, ask about telecommuting options now or in the future.

4) Future Career Moves

What about your career trajectory? You likely will not be satisfied staying in the same position for decades. So what will the future look like? Does this organization have a clear path for you to follow? It’s often helpful to ask what people who once held this job are currently doing. If you do not get a satisfactory answer, it’s okay to ask an interviewer about attrition rate. It’s not a good sign if past hires don’t last long. Additionally, if you choose a company that has a poor reputation or a reputation for poor hiring practices, you could get typecast negatively and regret it once it’s time to move on.

5) Level of Interest

When examining job specifics, how much do you actually enjoy the work? It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the ancillary considerations, we often forget to think about whether or not the work is exciting! Will you enjoy spending 40+ hours per week doing the work that is involved? If the potential employer hasn’t explained the job in enough detail, ask more questions. You may even inquire if it’s appropriate to shadow a current employee for a day. If you are not able to shadow, be sure to ask about the workload and shared responsibilities. The employer will then have the opportunity to tell you with honesty how many work hours are expected of employees. The same study from Fidelity shows that 58 percent of millennials say quality of work life is more important than financial benefits.

6) Time Spent Commuting

It’s also important to consider the new commute. Are you ready to commit to that each day? According to AAA, the average cost to drive is 60.8 cents per mile. Commuting can be expensive and stressful.

To cut back on the commute, consider living closer to work. How much will your cost of living decrease or increase as a result? Consider housing, utilities, property taxes, schools, nearby stores, etc.

7) Retirement Plan Options

If this isn’t your first job, remember your retirement plan from your past employer. What should you do with it? You have many options. You can cash out, though it’s rarely a wise idea. You’ll miss out on future tax savings and you’ll get hit with fees for cashing out. You can also leave the funds where they are in many cases. A third option is to roll the money over into the new retirement plan or roll it into your personal IRA.

As you can see, there’s more to choosing a job than simply the salary. Apply the above considerations to see if a new job is right for you. And may your new position bring you money, benefits, friendship and satisfaction.
If you do decide to take on the position, don’t be afraid to negotiate. Often, the first offer is a starting point and it is expected that you will at least counter with a higher number or better benefits. How do you know what to counter? Consider the factors above and use the job offer evaluator tool to get your suggested salary.

Need more guidance? Check out this post from Fidelity as you evaluate a job offer.

This post is sponsored by Fidelity Investments®. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Fidelity does not adopt, endorse or sponsor any other content on this website, including links to other third-party websites and is not responsible for any views expressed outside of this sponsored post.

Originally posted 2016-05-20 08:00:04.


4 Proven Ways to Save Money as a Renter

This post is sponsored by Fidelity Investments®. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Fidelity does not adopt, endorse or sponsor any other content on this website, including links to other third-party websites and is not responsible for any views expressed outside of this sponsored post.

Renting an apartment can be both an exciting and slightly stressful experience. Having a place of your own will grant you freedom but many financial responsibilities will be added to your plate as well.

Given the high market rent rates throughout the country, along with expenses like utilities, food, parking fees and a security deposit, many first time apartment renters are searching for a way to cut back on costs so they can avoid struggling financially.

Consider some of these money saving tips before looking for your next place.

Choose an Affordable Area

Location is very important when you’re trying to get more bang for your buck. The area that you choose to live in can significantly affect your rent. Most of the time, housing in a large city is going to be more expensive than in a small suburb.

But apartments closer to shopping malls, tourist attractions, and popular high-traffic areas of a city or suburb are going to cost more. The idea is that people who choose to live near these conveniences are willing to pay more.

Skip All the Amenities

Apartment complexes that have a gym, pool and clubhouse are nice, but if you’re trying to save money on rent, they may not be the best option. The apartments with the most amenities and luxury features will have higher rent because the tenants are expected to help pay for the extra add-ons.

If you leased an apartment at a complex that has a private gym and a hot tub, you may be paying an extra $100 in rent for luxuries you don’t often use. If you think your car will be safe parked outside of your apartment year-’round, then opt out of spending the extra $20 or $30 per month for a parking space.

It’s nice to have these things nearby but by choosing a basic apartment that has everything you need and little extras can really help you knock $200+ off your monthly rent. That will help you save $2,400 a year or more. That extra cash can go toward debt repayment or even help boost your savings.

When it comes down to it, you have to ask yourself what you value more and choose an apartment that fits your expectations in value, quality and affordability.

Get a Roommate

Living with a roommate can significantly lighten the financial burden that comes along with renting your own place for the first time. When you split the costs of rent and other bills, you’ll both save some money and you won’t be expected to pay for everything yourself.

If you choose to get a roommate, you’ll have to be okay with sharing your living space. Make sure you pick someone you can get along with and who has similar goals and values as you. Drafting up a brief agreement would be a good idea to lay out ground rules and make sure you and your roommate are on the same page. You’ll also want to make sure that both of your names are on the lease so you’ll both be equally responsible for paying the rent each month and maintaining the apartment.

Lower Your Utilities and Bills

As a renter, your landlord may cover some of the utilities like garbage and water and make a few repairs here and there, but you will likely be responsible for paying your own way as well covering your electricity, internet, gas and so on.

It’s very rare that a landlord will pay your electric bill because this utility can vary a lot based on your usage and it’s usually the most expensive bill you’ll have. Therefore, it’s important to do a quick sweep through the house before you leave for the day to make sure everything is turned off and if you have programmable thermostat, set it to automatically reduce heat or air at certain times during the day or night.


Delay turning your heat on for as long as you can during the fall and do the same with your air conditioning in the spring. Be very conscious of how often you use certain things in your home and try to conserve energy, water usage etc. You can also reduce your cable expense by opting for the most basic cable package. You can track your spending and saving using a tool like Cinch from Fidelity. With Cinch you can see your spending in one place and create a customized savings target. I can think of several times that I missed a payment because I didn’t pay attention to all of my spending. Cinch helps with this.

Living on your own for the first time is full of financial challenges making it crucial that you prioritize your spending and cut expenses however you can.

Figured out the renting thing and looking to take the next step? Use this helpful tool from Fidelity to see if you should rent or buy.

Learn more about MyMoney, a website created by Fidelity Investments® to help you make sense of your personal finances. Fidelity Brokerage Services Member NYSE, SIPC.

Originally posted 2016-03-14 09:00:34.


How to Create an Automatic Investing Plan

This post is sponsored by Fidelity Investments. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Fidelity does not adopt, endorse or sponsor any other content on this website, including links to other third-party websites and is not responsible for any views expressed outside of this sponsored post.

Let’s face it, learning to invest can be scary. The thought of investing can often seem like giving away your money with no idea when that money will return. On the other extreme, it could feel exciting, like you are on the verge of earning a large payday. While it’s natural to be apprehensive when you’re just learning to invest, letting your emotions get the best of you could cause you to withdraw your money from the markets before you have a chance to earn anything. On the flip side, becoming overly-excited or confident could cause you to make irrational decisions as well. As a general rule, it’s best to leave emotions out of the equation when it comes to investing. One way to do it involves a strategy called automatic investing.

Automatic Investing Like an Intelligent Investor

A few years ago, I read a book and it has shaped the way that I invest ever since. In the book, the author Benjamin Graham, recommends a diligent, steady approach to investing. For example, income investors diligently consider future dividends when looking for dividend paying stocks. Choosing to automate your investment plan following a diligent, steady approach can help to remove emotions from your investment strategy, and help you become a more intelligent investor.

How To Invest on a Regular Schedule

Investing on a regular schedule makes the process of investing an automatic activity. As measured by the S&P 500, over the last ten years, the broad market index has returned 6.8% on an annual basis, including dividends. While past performance is no indicator of future results, and all investing involves risk of loss, this example can help paint the picture. An investor that chooses to buy and sell based on concern and excitement, might see investment returns different from the broad market index; especially since the market has seen some significant highs and lows over the last ten years. Let’s take a look at how a monthly deposit could change things.

Depositing on a Regular Basis

Depositing just $100 per month on a consistent basis is better than sporadic deposits. Here’s why. Automatic investing removes the human element. The easiest way to create a monthly deposit plan is to use the percentage system. With this system, you portion out your necessary expenses, rent, utilities, etc, and then you take a percentage of the remaining income for goals. If you have $500 per month remaining after your bills are covered, then a twenty percent investing goal would allow you to put $100 away each month for investing.

Take Advantage of Free Money

Your employer can also help you invest on a regular basis. If your employer offers a retirement plan such as a 401(k), check to determine if they also offer a matching contribution. A matching contribution works like this: when you choose to put away a portion of your salary into an employer sponsored 401(k) plan, the employer will choose to contribute as well. The “match” depends on the specifics of the plan. Some employers will contribute dollar for dollar while others may contribute 50 cents for each dollar you contribute. Then, check to see what funds are offered as options in that 401(k). Each time you receive a paycheck, your choice of contribution percentage is automatically deducted from your paycheck and allocated to the funds that you choose. And if your employer matches your contribution, then you are getting additional free money towards your retirement fund.

Emotions can cause you to make irrational decisions when it comes to money. But learning to invest without those emotions is possible. An automatic investment plan can help you begin building your confidence and a nest egg as well.

Learn more about MyMoney, a website created by Fidelity Investments to help you make sense of your personal finances. Fidelity Brokerage Services Member NYSE, SIPC.

Originally posted 2015-12-16 10:00:02.