5 things millennials should be doing with their money right now

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Millennials are still recovering from the 2008 recession.

The generation's overall lack of resources, combined with growing debts, has made millions delay the decisions traditionally associated with adulthood: Living independently, getting married, having children, and buying cars and houses.

While the banks were bailed out back in 2008, today's millennials are being bailed out by their parents, who are boomers with much more disposable income. According to The New York Times, 40 percent of young millennials get financial support from parents to cover expenses.

In many ways, millennials actually have it much worse than older generations. For instance, young workers are 40 percent more likely to not have retirement savings than Gen X and 50 percent more likely than baby boomers. At the same time, millennials are making $2,000 less than Gen X did at the same age back in 1980 and 20 percent are currently living in poverty.

"Today's millennials are being bailed out by their parents."

The time for you, millennials, to take finances seriously is now. The issue has never been more important. If you don't learn how to save and invest money, it could drastically delay your retirement. In fact, an entire 83 percent of millennials say they will never be able to retire, according to data from Merrill Edge.

If you're struggling to manage your finances, here are five steps you can take now.

1) Save money by cutting down on expenses

Think about all the expenses you have, chart them out and then figure which ones you can eliminate without it completely ruining your lifestyle. Through this exercise, if you discover that you're spending two hundred dollars each month on cigarettes or alcohol, you should either eliminate or reduce that expense.

While it might not seem socially acceptable to live with your parents, if you can eliminate your rent. That can make a significant long-term positive financial impact on your life, so it could be worthwhile.

2) Focus on paying down your current debts

Before you start saving money, it's imperative that you start paying off your current debts, including credit cards and student loans. These debts can spiral out of control if you don't focus on them when you're young. They can become overwhelming when you're older and have higher expenses.

You should pay off the most expensive debt first, pay more than the minimum balance and track your debts so you know how much you owe and when you owe it by.

3) Create multiple streams of income

In order to offset low ages, I recommend that you create new income opportunities for yourself. You can do project-based work outside of your full-time job by promoting yourself on freelance marketplaces including UpWork and Field Nation.

You could buy or create new products and then sell them for more on Amazon, eBay or Etsy. Your employment situation doesn't have to be confined to your full-time job and generating new streams of income can give you limitless earning potential.

4) Work harder and negotiate aggressively for higher wages

You should maximize your full-time job by putting in longer hours, getting results and then negotiating more regularly for higher compensation. By providing your value to your manager, you are more likely to win the negotiation, make more money and then use that money to pay off debt and save.

5) Don't be afraid to ask for help

A lot of millennials aren't willing to get support because they are afraid or don't want to seem helpless or uneducated on finance. The truth is that most people our age don't know much about money management. You should get help from your family, friends or even a trusted financial advisor. You could also take a free or cheap online personal finance course or enroll in a class if you need the support of a teacher.

Dan Schawbel
is the New York Times-bestselling author of "Promote Yourself" and "Me 2.0," and the research director at Future Workplace.