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5 tips to help millennials (and everybody else) save money

Author: Benjamin Lee

From making the rent to shopping for groceries and paying off study loans, putting aside savings is nearly impossible for millennials. With a weak economy and poor job prospects, it’s a wonder that any of us are still surviving.

While it may be easy to blame all of these on poor financial management skills, this simply is not true. Despite an increase in median household incomes over the years, soaring college fees and car and property prices mean that most millennials are firmly anchored in debt. Consequently, this makes it impossible for them to have savings of any kind.

However, there is still hope on the horizon. Despite rising unemployment and soaring costs of living, it is still very possible to have some savings put aside. Here, we’ve put together a simple guide to help you have some cash in the piggy bank.

1. Put aside 10-20% of your salary each month

Call it a tax upon yourself or a forced savings scheme, either way putting aside at least 10% of your salary each month is a great way to start saving. Deposit the self-imposed 10-20% tax each month into a separate savings account via auto debit each month. Before you know it, you’ll have a fair sum put away.

2. Sign up for an IRA account

From the moment you land your first job, you should always check to see if your job has a 401k plan. If it doesn’t, sign up for an IRA account as soon as possible. Treat it your IRA deposits as just another expense and you’ll find putting aside some savings is quite possible.

3. Avoid credit card debt like the plague

A study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has revealed that a whopping 55% of American households are in severe credit card debt. With the extortionate interest rates charged, it’s easy to see how outstanding credit card debt can easily balloon out of control.

As a rule of thumb, always pay off any and all existing credit card debt at the end of the month. This ensures that you’ll never be bogged down with interest payments. Also, paying off your credit card debt on a timely basis helps you develop a solid credit history.

4. Take on a side-gig

Sometimes, a single income stream just isn’t enough. Fortunately, in today’s world there are plenty of opportunities for those willing to look. An example of this can be seen in the active freelance market. 

Thousands of copywriters, designers, accountants and even virtual assistants are hired on a daily basis on sites such as and

Sites such as these allow you to monetize any of your skills. By taking on a side-gig or a series of freelance projects, you’ll be able to grow and multiply your income streams. Put aside your earnings from these jobs and deposit them into a savings account.

Over time, you’ll be able to save up a surprising amount of money. In some cases, successful freelancers have been known to turn their side hustle into a successful full-time business.

If you fancy sports, look out for online sportsbooks. They might offer some rewards and they have promotions and bonuses for newcomers. However, remember to wage responsibly, so you don’t lose more money than the one you are betting.

5. Audit your expenses

Auditing your personal expenses can be tough. However, by taking a look at your expenses over the previous 6 months, you’ll be able to identify areas where costs could be reduced. Whether it’s skipping on eating out or giving Starbucks a pass, you’ll find that even the smallest expenses do add up.

While it may initially seem like an insurmountable task, it is very much possible for you to have a healthy savings account. With the right combination of self-discipline and consistency, you can make saving a part of your lifestyle.

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75% of Millennials Net Worth is at the Mercy of Student Loans

RHS 2017

The statistics are in and if you’re a millennial, you have every reason to worry. It’s a well-known fact that student loans are a burden to the current generation. This is despite the millennials owning bachelor’s and master’s degrees. On the other hand, it’s these loans that made it possible for them to acquire tertiary level education.

A recent release showed student loans are now just shy of $1.5 trillion ($1.48). To put this into perspective, it is 1.5 times the credit card debt owed by Americans.

With this in mind, it’s easy to see why millennials are unable to find that ever-elusive financial freedom. According to a study done by MagnifyMoney, a millennial with a student loan is worth a mere 25 percent of what a fellow millennial without a loan is worth.

With such disparity, it’s also clear where their income disappears to. Graduating may bring lots of joy, but the journey to the top of the hill is only beginning. Take a look at how fellow millennials struggle with student loans.

The Net Worth Divide

The rift in the net worth of people with student loans and those without continues to widen as the years go by. For example, in 1989, less than 35 households with student loans had only 13% less in net worth, compared to their counterparts without the burden.

Fast forward to 1998, and this figure is almost triple, with the rift widening to 36%, which means the household with a student loan averaged at $68,687 in net worth while those without averaged at $108,146.

Almost two decades later, the gap between the two households stands at a whopping 75%. Those with student loans average $29,087 while millennials without average $114,376. This means those without loans pocketed more than $85,000 than those shackled with loans.

While a college degree can command a lucrative salary, the income will only go toward clearing the debt thereby hindering you from achieving financial freedom.

A Dry Bank Account

Student loans are great since they finance your dreams. However, reality checks in after graduation. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a job, and the income will go toward offsetting the debt. This is the point where your dream of financial freedom dims.

According to studies, those with student loans use a huge chunk of their paycheck to pay off their loans, thus drying their bank accounts. These graduates have an average of $5,500 while those without holds almost double that amount, $10,180.

This creates a chain reaction where these millennials end up taking on more credit card debt as a result of reduced liquid cash. In fact, they form 55% of those with student debts, while those without makeup 32%. Furthermore, they also have huge balances, $2,888 compared to $1,476 for those without.

Reduced Retirement Savings

The chain reaction continues. Since the millennials have less money in their bank accounts, it’s only logical for them to cut down spending on various household items. Even doing so may not be enough to cover the monthly expenses.

This means no left-over to put away as savings for your retirement. The debt-free millennials have an average of $39,905 stashed away on retirement savings. This is $18,745 more than their counterparts with $5000 quick realistic loans, who have $21,160 saved.

However, you can change the narrative by starting to save for your sunset years as early as possible. Remember, these savings work like compound interest. Even a small contribution toward your IRA or 401(k) has the power to grow over time.


If saving for retirement is a struggle, then you can already imagine what kind of effort a millennial with a student loan will need in order to own a home.

The Joint Center for Housing from Harvard revealed that close to 21 million households used over 30% of their income to pay rent.

This is even as income remains stagnant, and rent costs continue to soar, making it difficult for one to realize the dream of owning a home. With student loans, the dream is even further away than expected thereby reducing the number of millennial graduates owning homes—34 percent compared to their counterparts at 36 percent.

Even if they managed to buy a home, their value is much lower, and a massive mortgage is staring right back at them. Those without loans have home values standing at 5% more than those with them. In figures, this $165,000 versus $157,000.

Since it’s difficult to raise the down payment required to pay for a home, these homeowners end up taking on more debt to finance their dream. According to the research done by MagnifyMoney, this translated to an average mortgage of $104,000 compared to $98,000 for those without debts.

The Solution

Taking on loans at a young age may not be the best strategy. However, the best way to tackle this problem is by finding ways to clear the debt as soon as possible. Here are some:

  1. Make extra payments. Take a deeper look at your budget and cut down on expenses. The excess money can go towards making extra payments. This will save you the money you’d have paid in interest.
  2. Ask for a raise at work. Sometimes, the solution to your woes lie in a salary increase. If this doesn’t work, you can change jobs altogether. You can also consider starting a side job to supplement your main income.
  3. Apply for the loan forgiveness program, This is a viable option, especially if you work in the public sector, for example as a teacher.
  4. You can also look for private and state-based programs, which can help you repay the debt. Some employees also offer student loan matching programs, which can help you clear your loan.
  5. Student loan refinancing is also a worthy option. With this method, you have the chance to repay the loan at a reduced interest rate. However, this will only work if you have good credit and income. This will, in the long run, save you the money you’d have paid in interest. Moreover, you’ll be able to clear the loan faster.

While student loans may help you get a college education, the aftermath may be more difficult to handle when the government starts demanding what you owe them. Nevertheless, it’s not the end of the road because there are methods you can use to achieve financial freedom, as highlighted in this article.

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PJ Blogger

Ridgewood NJ, so what is it about those”Millennials” , to many adults its a generation devoid of creativity, work ethic and independent thinking .  They demonstrate a general lack of understanding of the basic laws of economics and even the fundamental ability to act in their own best interest.

Continue reading Millennials
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Millennial Expert Ana Homayoun, will Speak on Social Media Wellness

Dear Parents/Guardians:

On January 16, 2019, teen and millennial expert Ana Homayoun, will be visiting our district to talk about the important topic of Social Media Wellness. We are delighted that she will be delivering three phenomenal programs that day: one for all ninth grade students, a second for staff members, and finally the parent program, which is part of our Wellbeing Speaker Series.

Bookends Bookstore will be on-site to host a book sale and signing at the conclusion of Ana’s presentation. Books can be pre-ordered at Bookends for this event or purchased that evening at George Washington Middle School.

Ana Homayoun is an author, speaker, and educator. Ana is the founder of Green Ivy Educational Consulting, a Silicon Valley-based educational consulting firm and has spent the past seventeen years working with students, parents, and educators around the world. Her latest book, Social Media Wellness: Helping Tweens and Teens Thrive in an Unbalanced Digital World, discusses modern social media dilemmas and offers prescriptive solutions. Her first book, That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week: Helping Disorganized and Distracted Boys Succeed in School and Life, quickly became a classic among parents and educators for the pragmatic approach to executive functioning issues. Her next book, The Myth of the Perfect Girl: Helping Our Daughters Find Authentic Success and Happiness in School and Life, explores the real-life dilemmas of young women today and provides strategies for finding authentic success and happiness.

Ana’s work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, USA Today, Psychology Today, ABC News, CNN, and more. She is also a frequent guest on NPR.

We hope you can join us.


Stacie Poelstra
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

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67% of Voters Disagree With Andrew Cuomo Disparaging America’s “Greatness”, Millennials However have a Dim View

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a hopeful for the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination, said recently, “We’re not going to make America great again. It was never that great.” One-in-five Democrats agree, but a sizable majority of all voters thinks he was off-base.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 67% of Likely U.S. Voters disagree with Cuomo’s statement. Seventeen percent (17%) agree, while just as many (16%) are undecided.

Continue reading 67% of Voters Disagree With Andrew Cuomo Disparaging America’s “Greatness”, Millennials However have a Dim View

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Gravis Poll Shows Libertarian Murray Sabrin is a Serious Candidate to Take on Menendez

Murray Sabrin

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ramapo NJ, A new scientific poll conducted by Gravis Marketing, a non-partisan research firm, shows that 16% of voters in New Jersey who know of Murray Sabrin will vote for him. The results of the poll showed that once voters were informed of Sabrin’s positions, he quickly rose to be within striking distance of Menendez and Hugin.

Continue reading Gravis Poll Shows Libertarian Murray Sabrin is a Serious Candidate to Take on Menendez

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Median Age in the USA Increases to 38 years Old

seniors working artchick

file photo by ArtChick

June 23,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Washington DC, Approximately half (51.4 percent) of the nation’s 531 counties that were getting younger between April 2010 and July 2017 were in the Midwest, according to newly released 2017 population estimates. Out of the counties that were getting younger, the South also had a high proportion (32.4 percent) of the counties that experienced a decrease in median age — the age where half of the population is younger and the other half is older— followed by the West (14.1 percent), and the Northeast (2.1 percent).
“Nationally, almost 17 percent of counties saw a decrease in median age from April 2010 to July 2017. The majority of the counties getting younger were in the Midwest, and of these counties with 10,000 people or more in July 2017, some of the largest decreases were in North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska,” said Molly Cromwell, a demographer at the U.S. Census Bureau. “Williams County, N.D., had the largest decrease in median age, declining by 7.1 years.”
Despite the decrease in median age in many of the Midwest’s counties, a majority of counties in the country continued to grow older. The nation as a whole experienced a median age increase from 37.2 years to 38.0 years during the period 2010 to 2017. This continued aging of the country is consistent with the projected changes to the nation’s population through 2060.
“Baby boomers, and millennials alike, are responsible for this trend in increased aging,” Cromwell said. “Boomers continue to age and are slowly outnumbering children as the birth rate has declined steadily over the last decade.”
Last year, Florida had the largest percentage of seniors (age 65 and older) with 20.1 percent, followed by Maine (19.9 percent) and West Virginia (19.4 percent). Maine also saw its median age increase to 44.7 from 42.7 years old in 2010, making it the state with the highest median age.
On the other hand, Utah had the smallest percentage of its population age 65 and older (10.8 percent), followed by Alaska (11.2 percent) and the District of Columbia (12.1 percent). Utah is also the state with the lowest median age (30.9 years).
View our graphics on change in median age from 2010 to 2017 at the county level and the median age in 2017 to see how the nation has changed.
Population Continues to Become More Diverse

At the same time that the U.S. population becomes older, it also is becoming more diverse by race and ethnicity. Nationally, the population of all race and ethnic groups, except for the non-Hispanic white alone group, grew between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017. View our graphic on the age and race distribution from 2010 to 2017 to see how the nation has grown more diverse. References below to the race and ethnic compositions of county populations apply only to those counties with a total population of 10,000 or more.
The Hispanic population increased 2.1 percent to 58.9 million.
The black or African-American population increased 1.2 percent to 47.4 million.
The Asian population increased 3.1 percent to 22.2 million.
The American Indian or Alaska Native population increased 1.3 percent to 6.8 million.
The Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander population increased 2.1 percent to 1.6 million.
The population of those Two or More Races increased 2.9 percent to 8.7 million.
The white alone-or-in-combination population increased 0.5 percent to 257.4 million.
The non-Hispanic white alone population decreased .02 percent to 197.8 million.
The Hispanic Population (All Races)
The Hispanic population made up 18.1 percent of the nation’s total population in 2017, primarily due to natural increase (the difference between births and deaths).
California had the largest Hispanic population (15.5 million), and Texas saw the largest numeric increase in Hispanic population (234,000 people).
Los Angeles County, Calif., had the largest Hispanic population of any county (4.9 million), and Starr County, Texas, had the highest percentage of Hispanics with 96.3 percent.
The Black or African-American Population

Texas had the largest black or African-American population (3.8 million) and the District of Columbia had the highest percentage of the black or African American alone-or-in-combination population (48.8 percent).
Cook County, Ill., had the largest black or African-American population of any county (1.3 million).
Clark County, Nev. had the largest numeric increase of black or African-American population of any county (14,000). There were 104 counties nationwide that had a majority black or African-American population, led by Holmes County, Miss. (83.2 percent).
The Asian Population
Asians were the fastest-growing racial group in the nation. Their increase is primarily due to net migration.
California had the largest Asian population (6.8 million).
Hawaii was the only state where the Asian population represented a majority of the population (57.1 percent).
The American Indian or Alaska Native Population
California had the largest American Indian or Alaska Native population (1.1 million), and Alaska had the highest percentage (20.0 percent).
Los Angeles County, Calif., had the largest American Indian or Alaska Native population of any county at 233,000.
Oglala Lakota County, S.D., had the largest percentage of the American Indian or Alaska Native population (93.9 percent).
The Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander Population
The median age of the Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander population increased the most of any race group (2.3 years), rising from 26.4 years old in April 2010 to 28.7 years old in July 2017.
Hawaii had the largest number (382,000) and proportion (26.8 percent) of the Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander population.
Honolulu County, Hawaii, had the largest Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander population (245,000) in 2017. Clark County, Nev., had the largest numeric increase for the Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander population (1,400) in 2017.
The Two or More Races Population
Those who identify as two or more races made up the second-fastest growing race group (2.9 percent) in the nation. Their growth is due primarily to natural increase.
The two or more races group had the youngest median age of any other race group at 20.4 years.
California had the largest two or more races population (1.5 million) and Hawaii had the highest proportion (23.8 percent).
White Alone-or-in-Combination and the Non-Hispanic White Alone Population
The non-Hispanic white alone group was the only race group to experience population decline between 2016 and 2017 (-0.02 percent). Of all the alone-or-in-combination race groups, the white alone-or-in-combination group grew the slowest (0.5 percent).
Both the non-Hispanic white alone and white alone-or-in-combination populations had the highest median ages compared to the other race groups at 43.5 years and 39.2 years, respectively. The non-Hispanic white alone population is projected to continue aging and declining, with one-third of children projected to be non-Hispanic white alone by 2060, as compared to over one-half projected to be older adults.
The four states with the largest percentage of non-Hispanic white alone populations: Maine (93.3 percent), Vermont (92.9 percent), West Virginia (92.2 percent) and New Hampshire (90.5 percent) are also the four oldest states by median age with 44.7, 42.9, 42.5 and 43.1 years old, respectively.
This is the last of the population estimates for 2017. Previous estimates include national, county, metro area, city and town population estimates. The population estimates as of July 1, 2017, do not reflect displacement or other migratory changes to the nation’s population due to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in August and September 2017. For information on how the country is projected to change through 2060, view our previous release, Older People Projected to Outnumber Children for First Time in U.S. History.


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New Jersey Continues to Suffer from Brain Drain

Millennial vs Boomer

December 7,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, New Jersey continues to suffer long term brain drain . Millennials it seems can’t get out of New Jersey fast enough. From 2000 to 2013, the number of 22-to-34-year-olds living in New Jersey fell by 2.3 percent, according to Census data, even while the number of people in this age bracket increased by 6.8 percent nationally during the same timeframe. According to a calculation by Governing using Census estimates, New Jersey now ranks 47th out of 50 states and Washington, D.C., for its percentage of Millennials in 2012.

Why do so many young people flee the Garden State? The smart-growth nonprofit New Jersey Future considered this demographic trend in a report released in September. The report measured New Jersey’s municipalities on three smart growth metrics: walkability and street connectivity; the presence of a mixed-use center; and net activity density (defined as population plus employment, divided by developed square miles).

Unsurprisingly, New Jersey’s Millennials are just like Millennials everywhere else: They gravitate toward dense, mixed-use, walkable areas. Across the 118 places that scored well on all three smart-growth metrics, Millennials are 25 percent more prevalent than they are statewide. Conversely, they are 19 percent less likely than the general New Jersey population to live in the places that scored badly on all three metrics.

S it appears the lack of Millennial-friendly environments. Of the state’s 565 municipalities, only 183 scored well on two or all three smart-growth metrics, and according to the study, only 111 of those places are popular with Millennials. This imbalance may increase competition for housing in those high-scoring municipalities, pushing rent prices higher and Millennials out of those neighborhoods where they want to live most.

There are a number of other indicators that New Jersey’s Millennials are struggling with as well and like other generations its finding affordable housing . 47 percent of Millennials now live with their parents. Giving New Jersey the highest rate in the country of 18-to-34-year-olds living with their parents. Nationally, the number is just 33 percent, and in nearby Pennsylvania, it’s 37 percent.

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Working Past 70: Americans Can’t Seem to Retire

seniors working artchick

file photo by ArtChick

U.S. seniors are employed at the highest rates in 55 years.
Ben Steverman
July 10, 2017, 4:00 AM EDT

More and more Americans are spending their golden years on the job.

Almost 19 percent of people 65 or older were working at least part-time in the second quarter of 2017, according to the U.S. jobs report released on Friday. The age group’s employment/population ratio hasn’t been higher in 55 years, before American retirees won better health care and Social Security benefits starting in the late 1960s.

And the trend looks likely to continue. Millennials, prepare yourselves. Better yet, consider this and this, so you have a choice in the matter when your time comes.

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Move over, millennials: NJ businesses looking at undefined ‘Generation Z’


file photo RHS

By Dino Flammia June 8, 2017 2:23 AM

Centennials. iGen. The Founders.

Any name you choose, the generation following millennials remains a mystery to those who will end up being their bosses.

But the oldest segment of Generation Z — somewhere in the age range of 17 to 21 years old — is hitting the workforce in the fashion of full-time employment and internships. Businesses and trend followers hope to get a better feel for what they’re all about.

“We don’t fully know their generational essence,” said James Hughes, an economist and demographer at Rutgers University. “We don’t have a good handle on them yet because we don’t have much experience dealing with them.”

Hughes said the post-millennial generation has been examined in several marketing studies, but they have not been the subject of true academic research.

“You can say they’re a connected generation. More than any other generation, their smartphone is their tie to everything else. They’re certainly technologically savvy, even more so than millennials,” Hughes said.

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