LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Millennials are facing their challenges when it comes to finding financial success.
“It was hard, I lost a lot of sleep," Courtney Cunningham said.
The 25-year-old Vegas native is also a UNLV grad and currently works at Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada, helping those who were in her shoes just a few years ago as they navigate the road of financial challenges.
However, the road wasn't an easy one for Cunningham.
“I worked three jobs and started college all at the same time,” she said.
Cunningham joins the crowd of many millennials footing the bill for higher education.
“I didn’t get the best scholarships or anything like that and I wanted to be able to help my family pay for my school,” she said.
According to Lexington Law, a credit repair law firm, millennials are heavily burdened with debt from student loans and credit cards, as 63% of millennials have more than $10,000 in student debt.
Also, 66% of millennials have one or more sources of outstanding long term debt, according to Lexington Law, but what saved Cunningham from falling through the cracks of a major money loss, was budgeting.
“So I preplan where I’m going to spend my money,” she said. I have a goal of saving a certain amount by the end of the year.”
Financial advisor, Adam Goodman agrees and says the key to financial success among millennials is finding a way to enjoy your current lifestyle, while also working to create the future lifestyle you want.
“Just make it a priority to start saving, even if it's just 5% of your income, a good goal is 10 percent but you’ve got to start somewhere," Goodman said.
Some local millennials 13 Action News spoke to were fortunate enough to dodge the debt bullet.
“I looked at some other schools but UNLV was free and a lot of people gave me money to go to school for free,” Shanice Stevens said.
Stevens, 30, also says she learned the tricks of the trade early and began working well before college.
“I just had that urge to be able to make my own money, have my own savings and pay for the things that I needed, Stevens said. "That really helped me budget as I got older."
As millennials continue to enter the workforce over the next few years experts say the easiest way to get ahead is to get your bank accounts right before something crops up.
“Have an emergency fund account, you have your everyday account - where your paychecks are coming in and you’re paying your regular bills - and then you have a longer-term account as well,” Goodman said.
Editor's note: Good With Money, sponsored by Subaru of Las Vegas and America First Credit Union, is part of the 13 Connects program. Our mission is to make a deep impact on the critical needs of the Las Vegas community, with the help our partners.