I actually found out about the Equifax data breach on Twitter (because, you know, that’s where I get all my news), and while many brushed this off as another case of potential identity theft in a time of many, I knew it was so much more than that. And it got even worse when I verified that I was one of the 143 million people who had had their information compromised. Oy vey.
Exactly 4 years ago around this time at the ripe old age of 26, I was smack dab in the middle of house-hunting. I had been saving for a down payment for a few years and had finally hit my goal, so off I went into the world of starter homes and cute bungalows to find a house for this single gal that would be mine and all mine. Well, mine and the bank’s. At least for 15 years.
Luckily I didn’t have to deal with some of the house-hunting nightmares that others have had to endure, and I found a cute little place in the area I wanted for a great price. We were still coming out of the recession so it was a buyer’s market, and with interest rates so low, I jumped at the deal.
I know most of you think your credit score isn’t a sexy topic, but did you know having a crappy one could potentially cost you a year’s salary?
When I bought my home in 2013, we were just beginning the incline out of the recession that had blindsided (most of) us in 2008. It was a buyer’s market, meaning homes were priced to sell and there were a lot of the market. On top of that, my credit score was sitting pretty in the high 700s, meaning I qualified for the lowest interest rate on my mortgage. Did I know prior to that point how much money that score saved me? Absolutely not. But when I started crunching the numbers on my house situation, I soon found it.
Complete honesty moment: saving money is second nature to me.
Even as a teenager, when you’re supposed to be a little reckless with your cash, I was hoarding the dollars I made in that amusement park ice cream stand like I’d never make another. In college, when my friends were complaining of bank accounts with less than $20 in them, I never went below $1,000. And in the past 3 years, I have managed to save $60,000 as a single lady all on her own, and that even excludes anything I contributed to retirement. Like I said, I’m a natural.
However, this isn’t the case for most millennials. In this 2016 GoBankingRates study, they found that 72% of young millennials (18-24) have less than $1,000 saved, and 31% have no savings at all. It doesn’t get much better for the older millennials (25-34) either: 67% have less than $1,000 and 34% have nothing saved.