• It takes discipline and sacrifice to save meaningful amounts of money at a young age.
  • Your money should make you money: Invest, cut the budget fat and set aside the time necessary to follow through.

Millennials are smart, talented and making decent salaries. But they’re also drowning in a sea of debt, have no money saved and can barely seem to make ends meet, despite having roommates or still living with mom.

It’s 2017, and you’re almost 30! What are you doing with your financial future?

My mantra for 2017 is going to be two words that no millennial will want to hear: discipline and sacrifice. In the era of instant gratification, this might sound like a death sentence. But it’s not! Fortunately for everyone, especially my readers, there’s a shortcut. We like shortcuts, don’t we?

As you know, making money is easier than ever. Yes, you drive Uber in your spare time. You rent out your extra room in your apartment on Airbnb. You have an Etsy shop with your homemade jewelry.

That’s great and all, but what does the profit from all of those different income streams afford you? An extra shot of espresso in your daily latte? Stop the madness!

Your money should make you money. Here’s where a little discipline and sacrifice will pay off in a huge way!

3 (very simple) steps to take that, over a defined period of time, will produce an entire lifestyle change for the better:

1. Find a way to grow

Whatever your side hustle, narrow down a plan for growth. I personally appreciate the leverage that owning real estate affords. So if I were you, I would set a plan to own property that will generate income.

2. Refine your budget

Actually look at what you’re spending your money on, and decide what can stay and what can go. This is a financial plan of action that you can commit to, that will enable you to achieve step one.

3. Define your time frame

Set a period of time for the grind. There has to be a finish line, or else the means to accomplish your goal become overwhelming.

How long? 12 months? Is 2017 the year you will grab your life by the horns? Each month, set 30 minutes aside to track and review your progress.

It seems simple because it really is. The hard part is enduring the sacrifice and maintaining the discipline.

Need help? Download my real estate investment goal planner. Fill out my budget template. Join my monthly accountability sessions. Or just tag me (@stjohnestates) and we’ll tweet it out.

We’re too smart to be stuck in the rat race. #lehgo

Sharron St. John is a real estate agent with the No. 1 team in the world, the Lucido Agency at Keller Williams. Sharron covers real estate, investments, and wealth building for Millennials. Connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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