Bank of America’s Michele Barlow Shares Tips on How to Develop Good Money Habits

Hundred dollar bills

Here’s how to make your money last| SARINYAPINNGAM/iStock/Getty Images

If you made any financial resolutions earlier in the year, one resolution you probably made was to do a better job of managing your finances. The Cheat Sheet spoke with Michele Barlow, executive vice president of enterprise marketing at Bank of America to learn more about a list the organization made, along with BuzzFeed, to honor 50 young people who make $50,000 or less but who still manage to practice good financial habits. Barlow also shared tips for how to manage money responsibly.

The Cheat Sheet: What impressed you most about the young people featured on the Better Money Habits 50 Under $50K list?

Michele Barlow: Our goal with the Better Money Habits 50 Under $50K list was to identify young professionals who are making their salaries work and willing to share their financial tips with their peers. I was impressed with how much of a focus they have on their finances, how open they are with their challenges and how eager they are to learn even more.

CS: How were the honorees chosen?

MB: In August, we partnered with BuzzFeed to do an open call for entries for the Better Money Habits 50 Under $50K. The judging committee included editors from BuzzFeed, and Bank of America financial experts and representatives from Better Money Habits. Together we vetted hundreds of nominees for their interests, financial savviness and wellness, and overall alignment with the program to find 50 individuals who all have one thing in common: they are putting their financial knowledge into practice.

CS: What advice would you give to young people on how to save money on a modest budget?

MB: Better Money Habits, our free financial education platform, is home to tools and resources to help anyone – regardless of their income – practice smart financial habits, like saving. Among those resources is “8 Simple Ways to Save Money,” which recommends that people record their expenses, make a budget, plan on saving money, choose something to save for, decide on their priorities, pick the right tools, make saving automatic, and watch savings grow.

CS: What advice would you give young people who are seeking a pay raise? What’s the best way to ask?

MB: Our recent 2018 Better Money Habits Millennial Report found that millennials are advocating for themselves at work – more so than both Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. Roughly half of millennials (46%) have asked for a raise in the past two years versus 36% of Gen X and 39% of Baby Boomers. While each individuals’ experience asking for a raise will be different and dependent upon their circumstances, Better Money Habits does provide tips for those who receive a jump in salary – like reassessing your budget, paying off high-interest debt, and funding your future through a retirement account.

CS: Anything to add?

MB: We recognize that young adults new to the workforce are often taking on new financial responsibilities like rent, student loan payments, saving money from their first ‘real paycheck’ and balancing a budget. So, with the 50 Under $50K list, we’re encouraging peers to share their experiences and demonstrating how individuals have the power to gain the financial know-how they need to achieve their goals through Better Money Habits.

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