Millennials and Money: What should you do to save for retirement

It's something we've all probably done: gone through the coffee shop for an afternoon latte or grabbed a meal with friends a few nights a week. It doesn’t seem like much money at the time, but over time those expenses can add up. For millennials, that can add to an already challenging financial picture.

“I feel bad for millennials. Wages just don't keep up anymore and everything is more expensive,” explained financial planner Steve Overton.

Overton said things like rent and health insurance premiums are more expensive for millennials. Millennials also have added and recurring expenses that previous generations didn't have like cell phones, internet fees and cable.

So what should millennials be doing now to set themselves up for financial success down the road?

“The number one thing I see in interview with millennials is debt. They have debt. It could be student loans that they’re tacking or credit cards they're falling on to pay their bills every month,” said Overton.

Paying off debt is just the start. Making sure you don’t add to it is another thing to keep in mind. Instead of daily coffee runs or snacks from the vending machine invest that money.

Overton explained that if you take that $4.50 a day you spend on coffee and instead invest it over a 20 year period, with at least a 5% gain, you’re looking at well over $50,000.

So, where should you invest? Many companies offer 401Ks and match a percentage of what you invest. Max out those contributions as early as you can afford it, Overton suggested that you invest 10% of your salary. The earlier you start contributing the more interest you make. If you're employer doesn't offer a 401K look at other options like an IRA. Bottom line: Set money aside every month.

Another investment to consider is home ownership. If you hold off on buying a home and instead rent, it can cost you in the long run.

“You're missing years of opportunities to build wealth by not following the cookie cutter American dream of buying a house and settling down. There’s real economic benefit to home ownership,” said Overton.