I want to open this post by stating that I am definitely not a financial expert by any means. With that said, I’ll get right down to what I want to say: every month, before I do anything else, I pay my bills first. I make sure anything that has my name on it gets paid on time because the last thing I want is to have a poor credit score or to have my power turned off (or something like that). What brought this on? I’ve been hearing people around my age (late twenties/early thirties) talking about bills–not paying them, paying them late, “ignoring” them–and it has made me think. Is this prominent among millennials? Are we more likely to put off paying bills than maintain our good credit? If so, why?

This is a tough topic to write about because, again, I am not a financial expert and I don’t want to sound as though I’m preaching. I just think that it’s important for millennials to understand that we should be worrying about things such as our credit score, 401k, or life savings. I remember when my parents were getting ready to buy their current home a few years ago, my dad said to me one day, “Make sure you keep your credit score high. Pay your bills. If you have a solid credit history and some savings, you can buy a house, car, anything you want with no problems.” That stuck with me–there I was, just graduating from college and embarking on graduate school with almost no idea of what I was doing and it dawned on me: oh, yeah, I’m an adult. I’m going to have a career one day and I’m going to want things. Big things, like a house or a car, and I’m going to have to get them for myself.

I’ve tried to keep that mindsight ever since we had that talk. I haven’t asked my parents for financial help since I moved out on my own (though, they would be happy to help me if I really needed it) and I don’t plan on it. It’s invigorating to know that I’m paying my rent, electricity, cable, and my other bills–me! I’ve earned the money and I’m taking care of myself. I promise, if you’re not already doing it, it’s a cool feeling :).

So, everyone, please don’t take this as a preachy post, it’s not meant to be. Rather, look at it as some well-meaning advice. Save whatever you can each month (every little bit helps!), pay your bills on time, and pay attention to your credit history! I think you’ll find it will help you in the long run.