It’s not easy being a millennial woman. A new report by a group including Asset Funders Network, Insight Center for Community Economic Development and the Closing the Women's Wealth Gap initiative found that they are 37 percent more likely than Gen-Xers to live below the federal poverty line because of increasing student loan debt, underemployment, unemployment and pay inequity, among other factors.
The bad news doesn’t end there. The median wealth of single millennial men is 162 percent greater than single millennial women.
So how best to defy the statistics?
Understand needs vs. wants
Analyze credit and debit card statements. Map out which expense was a need vs. a want. This will suss out what purchases were impulse buys. “Do a second analysis and figure out an alternative to spending that money. Perhaps it's learning to make your favorite dish at home instead of continuously ordering from UberEats,” says Catherine Agopcan, financial educator and owner of the blog Sisters for Financial Independence at sistersforfi.com.
Ilene Davis, author of "Wealthy by Choice," says she had a 28-year-old client who spent $10 a day at McDonald's. “That’s $2,500 a year. Invested, instead of spent, at 7 percent a year [reasonable with a growth and income-type mutual fund], in 30 years she would have accumulated over $236,000.”
Use social media for support
Social media is a great place to find help. Focus on one financial goal that you want to tackle — say, eliminating student loan debt. Get support from other users on social media. Share your progress. Share yours wins — and your failures.
Says Agopcan, “You'll be surprised at how supportive people can be on your journey. Check out the #debtfreecommunity" hashtag on Twitter "for ideas on how others have tackled their debt."