10/29/2014 04:14 pm ET Updated Dec 29, 2014

Being Financially Prepared Can Save You Money and Stress

Millennials are growing up. They are becoming adults, buying cars, moving away from home and getting jobs. In order to successfully navigate everything life has to offer, millennials need to step up and take control of their finances to prepare for life's future events and reduce the stress of these financial milestones.

Buying your first home, starting a family or purchasing a car are major events that require a lot of financial planning. Unfortunately for millennials, a recent TD Bank survey found that two-thirds of older millennials (ages 24-34) wish they had been more financially prepared for these life events. Luckily, there are simple steps people can take ahead of time to ensure they are financially prepared for whatever life throws at them.

Purchasing my first car was, for me, a financial learning experience. When I moved to the U.S., I needed to buy a car in order to get to and from my job. I worked at a bank and sat next to a loan officer. Since I didn't know the process of buying a car in the U.S., I made an appointment with him to walk through the loan process to be sure I understood what I needed to do to prepare before going to the car dealer.

Due to the economy, many millennials are graduating from school without jobs or a steady income, leaving them living paycheck to paycheck each month. In fact, according to our survey, millennials' top financial stressors were paying bills (45 percent), having a lack of funds (33 percent) and basic cost of living (7 percent). The only true way to overcome these common financial problems is to be financially prepared. The more millennials are able to mentally prepare for their financial futures, the less stress they will encounter. This will lead to happier and healthier financial attitudes. There are many options available to millennials that can provide money management advice. Whether it is doing research online, chatting with friends and family, or speaking directly with a banker, it is important that they take the time to learn, ask questions and be prepared for their financial futures.

The most important thing you can do to become financially prepared for life's events is to seek help. When I was trying to purchase my car I was very fortunate to be sitting next to a loan officer. Without seeking the help I needed, I might not have had all the necessary paperwork that was required to purchase a car. Many banks are willing to help you determine what you need to do to become prepared for anything. Whether you are opening your first savings account or purchasing your first home, take the time to learn the process.

Talking to someone about specific financial situations is one of the best things young adults can do for their money management skills. Many people are uncomfortable discussing personal finances, but the only real way to create a successful action plan is to be completely open and honest about your situation. Millennials should schedule an appointment with a local banking or finance expert and bring pay stubs, student loan debts, credit card bills and anything else that they are responsible for each month. Once a monthly budget is created, it becomes clear when a financial goal can be obtained, whether that is purchasing a home, being ready to start a family or finally having an emergency fund, and they can finally start looking towards the future.

Nandita Bakhshi is the Head of Consumer Bank for TD Bank. In this role, she leads product innovation and delivery through retail channels, including direct channels and online and mobile banking.

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