I opened my first bank account when I was 14 years old. I faithfully squirreled away money that I earned doing odd jobs like babysitting and mowing lawns, a few dollars at a time, with the hopes that it would grow large enough to fund the fancy cars, giant house and amazing vacations I planned to have when I got older. Then came college. I learned pretty quickly that it was far easier to spend money than it was to save money. Even living on ramen noodles and Diet Coke (the diet of college girls of my generation), I watched my bank account dwindle. I wasn’t alone. Figuring out how to balance financial assets with financial pressures turned out to be a challenge.
It’s even worse for millennials today. According to a report from Bank of America/USA TODAY, most millennials claim they weren’t on the receiving end of financial advice growing up. Nearly half (44%) of millennials claim their parents didn’t talk to them about how paying for college might affect their financial future. Nearly three-quarters of millennials say that they grew up without discussing good financial habits as children.
Despite their concerns, millennials do care about managing money and taking control of their finances. Nearly 6 in 10 claim to earn more than they spend (58 percent) while more than half set money aside for savings (56 percent). Still, many believe that it will be more difficult to benefit financially compared to their parents at this age with more than two in five (43 percent) intending to rely on their loved ones for financial help in retirement.
It’s clear that many millennials are wading through financial waters without much in the way of direction – just like I did. With all there is to consider when it comes to finances, wouldn’t it be great if there really was a cheat sheet? What if there was a list of what you absolutely needed to know about money written by folks who have already been forced to make those tough calls? I called in the experts – all part of our Investment Team at Forbes – to offer their absolutely “must know” tips.
In January of 2016, the Investment Team put together a series of primers – from taxes to employee benefits to life insurance and everything in between – the 100 Things You Absolutely Need To Know About Money Before You’re 35. We were blown away by the reception and honored to be asked by readers to put the pieces together in a compilation. We listened. Today, we’re proud to launch our e-book, which includes all 100 things in one easy reference.