Millennial savers often have better financial habits than older generations.
Studies have shown many young adults in their 20s and early 30s are better at tracking expenses and sticking to a budget than baby boomers, who are generally the parents of millennials.
But other research shows millennials may be holding themselves back from achieving long-term growth since many of them lack knowledge and confidence about investing.
"Certainly when it comes to investing, it's not something they're very familiar with so they're shying away from doing that," said Lauren Lyons Cole, New York City-based certified financial planner. "But it really cuts down on the amount of wealth they can accumulate over the course of their lifetime."
Millennials' attitudes about investing, however, may be changing. Three-quarters of the top investment strategists surveyed by Bankrate.com in June said they expect millennials will increasingly stop holding onto so much cash and start putting more money in the stock market. But it may take time.
"What you have to realize is that when you're young you can afford to take on risk," Cole said. "You may have a 40-year time horizon, it can even be 50-year time horizon, and that is a lot of time to allow the market up and down movement to impact your portfolio in a positive way."
To become savvier about saving for the long term, financial advisors suggest millennials take these four steps: