Millennials and Debt: How It Can Already Impact You Negatively

Millennials are some of the most technologically advanced, information-loaded generation of humans to date. With all this knowledge and access to it, it’s often easy for millennials to fall into the trap of misinformation. You’re told to take out the credit card; or you’re told not to. You’re told to take out that loan, you’ll pay it off easily later; or you’re told to take a second job and avoid a trip to the financial aid office.

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One thing millennials are notorious for struggling with is control of their debt. As much as we want to avoid it, today’s world revolves around money. But, more and more we’re finding that how much you have in the bank today isn’t as important as how clean your credit history looks. This can be the difference between affording your first home, saving on car payments, and avoiding hefty interest rates.

Disregarding your debt can come with long-term consequences you may not realize until you’re in too deep. An infographic by MBA@Syracuse, the university’s online MBA program, shows just how much bad credit can affect long-term purchases: an additional $4,975 on credit cards, $9.320 on car payments and a painful $30,057 on your first home. That’s not all, here are other sneaky ways debt can impact your life.

1. It can lead to emotional stress.

It’s easy to understand how the stress of debt and instability can lead to serious emotional stress, even depression. On top of that, some people try relieving feelings of depression by compulsive shopping – bringing your debt count even higher! A person may feel trapped, desperate and hopeless looking at their messy finances and it can be incredibly detrimental to their overall wellbeing.

2. You will not be able to afford buying a home.

As you battle through debt, you may be forced to live in an apartment to make smaller housing payments. In the meantime, that means you’re saving less to make the hefty down payment for your first home. Add in thousands of dollars in debt and your credit score may become the roadblock to getting an affordable rate for your humble abode.

3. You might be disqualified for a job.

Companies are frequently conducting background checks, which often times include a credit check. If your job requires that you handle money, deep debt can scare an employer away from hiring you. In another instance, some hiring teams will take bad credit as a sign of irresponsibility and look away from your application. According to Whitman’s online MBA program, 1 in 10 unemployed people are denied a job due to poor credit.

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4. A harder time during retirement.

This mistake, and one of the biggest, won’t be felt for another 40 to 50 years. Saving for retirement is nearly impossible to do when you’re making heavy payments to reduce debt. The average American is only saving about $25,000 for retirement, which is not nearly enough to sustain a comfortable lifestyle after leaving your job. For many, the reality becomes that you have to take a part-time job after retiring from your career.

The good news: New laws passed after the financial crisis of 2008 have made it more difficult for millennials to rack up credit cards without proof of income, which has kept many from spending what they can’t pay off. A few simple ways to get yourself out of debt include saving as much as you spend, paying any and all bills on time, negotiating a higher salary or starting to build credit with a small loan or credit card you can easily pay off.

With a little guidance and education, getting out of debt is achievable.

Social Media Content Creators to Watch

Originally published on Max Borges Agency’s company blog;  a people-first public relations, creative services and digital strategy firm with a focus on consumer technology. 

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“Influencer Marketing” is dubbed one of the biggest content-marketing trends in 2016. Brands are turning to content creators to bring creative ideas that help tell their brand story and get in front of new audiences.

A recent study found that 65% of brands have plans to raise their influencer marketing budget in 2016. If influencer content is distributed properly, it should garner traditional media coverage through rigorous media outreach, increase a brand’s social share-of-voice, and most importantly, encourage customers to engage with the brand or product.

Beyond generating captivating content, trust is what makes these creators so valuable.Consumers are trusting brands less and turning to their friends more. Using the power of “word of mouth” marketing by partnering with content creators, brands are able to build trust organically through the influencer’s channels.

With rising costs in digital sponsorships, it’s often beneficial to put energy and resources behind emerging content creators that will require less dollars – and often times more passion – as they work to grow their brand.

1. Jordyn Jones

Jordyn took her Dance Moms audience to Youtube and gained notoriety through her unbelievable choreography andcovers. It’s almost hard to believe she’s only 16 when you take a dive into her social channels; she’s worked with brands big and small and gained more than 2 million followers on Instagram in a few short years. Though she’s been looped into Hollywood recently, Jordyn still keeps the personality of someone many young women can relate to. This connection and trustworthiness is a big reason why her content makes waves through the digital space, and pushes the needle for brands.

Instagram: @jordynjones
Followers
: 2.1 million

2. Gabi Gregg

Gabi took a leap of confidence when she posted beautiful images of herself in a bikini along with other plus-size womenonline. The response was overwhelmingly positive, leading her to build an audience around her authenticity. She is redefining sexy by creating content that exudes confidence, self-acceptance and diversity. Her lead platform is Instagram as she harnesses the power of storytelling using captivating images, but she’s also featured as an advocate on TV and other digital media platforms.

Instagram: @gabifresh
Followers
: 363K

3. Raymond Braun

This LA-based content creator is more than an internet personality – he’s an activist, too. He was named the Forbes “30 Under 30” All Star and OUT 100 honoree for pioneering the wildly celebrated #ProudToLove digital campaign. He shares support, laughs and resources for the LGBT community and has a strong commitment to issues affecting youth. His background comes from being on the platform side – he worked at Youtube for three years – and he brings new insight to ways you can create content and make use of new media to generate buzz. His advice: “Don’t forget that behind every follow, like, view and share is another human being."

Instagram: @raymondbraun
Followers
: 48.1K

4. Franchesca Ramsey

Franchesca, also known as Chescaleigh, shook up the digital space with her “Sh*t White Girls Say…to Black Girls” video which immediately went viral. She used this surge to build a platform to create content that encourages positive discussion on topics like race, gender equality and other social justice issues she is passionate about. Her videos have been featured on websites like MTV, Huffington Post, Jezebel and Glamour. She’s since started writing, hosting and using extending her vlogging to the lifestyle space making tutorials and other personal content. Her secret to success: “Remember social media is a conversation, so you don’t wanna sound like a robot.”

Instagram: @chescaleigh
Followers
: 63.1K

5. Logan Paul

Logan’s roots to internet stardom come from his popular Vine account. The 6-second snippets of humor, his life, and the occasional brand placement, helped him build an audience of more than 20 million. Since then, he’s spread to other platforms including Instagram and Snapchat where he works to create content that keeps his communities engaged over laughs. He’s not a stranger to working with brands, and an appearance on the cover of AdWeek gives him extra klout, but his creativity and passion for each project is worth the price. “He is this generation’s teen idol, and every time he presses a button on his phone, millions of people know what he’s doing,” says his agent.

Instagram: @loganpaul
Followers
: 4.4 million

6. Lo Bosworth

Though her fame is everything but emerging, Lo is finding new audiences by taking her on-screen experience to the blog-sphere. Following her Laguna Beach and The Hills moments of fame, she took to the internet to build a home and lifestyle brand that follows that of a modern-day Martha Stewart. Her content promotes the handmade, homemade, taste made and practical know-hows of everyday life. She recently earned the Bloglovin’ Best Celeb Blog Award. A quick glance at her channels and you forget she was a reality star, then get sucked by and engaged with the vibrant content that looks and feels “real.”

Instagram: @lobosworth
Followers
: 902K

7. Julieanna Goddard, aka Julz

From “Miami-famous” to “Snapchat Queen,” Julz has changed the way brands interact with their audiences by harnessing the power of social media. The self-proclaimed Director of Vibes has worked with brands like Redbull, Beats by Dre and Burger Kingbuilding on her creativity and mastery of platforms like Snapchat. She earns more than 100K views in a 24-hour period and serves content that screams authenticity. She tells Highsnobiety, “Snapchat is the new television and the best part is that users are in control of their very own show.” Her work hard play hard mentality and high energy are contagious, which keeps her viewers engaged and coming back for more.

Instagram: @yesjulz
Followers: 352K

Tori Praver: Mommy, Model & Millennial Entrepreneur

See also: Why Tori is a total badass.

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July in Miami brings a wave of more than just sporadic rainfall and high summer temperatures. This month is also home to Miami Swim Week: the week-long event full of bikinis, bloggers, buyers and babes who want to get their hands on next season’s swimwear trends. 

For Tori Praver, former Sports Illustrated fan favorite and designer extraordinaire, this not her first time showing at Miami Swim Week. Inspired by travels through Greece and European cliffside beaches, this week Tori Praver Swimwear showcased their 2017 Resort Collection, appropriately titled, “Royal Castaway.” In between endless work days, long flights and creative excursions, Praver also wears the hat of mother to two beautiful children. Asking yourself “how does she do it?” Me too, so I took a peak behind the curtains this week. 

The Business:

Tori Praver became infamously known for her modeling appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue – three years running, multiple Cosmopolitan covers, and becoming the youngest face of Guess at age 17. When you see her, you’re instantly taken back by her nearly flawless 5’11” figure and Pacific Coast glow. Nowadays she’s often modeling her own line and recently showed off her baby bump with the Current/Elliott x Hatch maternity collaboration.

 PHOTO COURTESY OF CURRENT/ELLIOTT

PHOTO COURTESY OF CURRENT/ELLIOTT

Growing up in Hawaii, she says starting her swimwear line was something that always sat on her list of lifelong dreams. In her early 20s, she decided to launch Tori Praver Swimwear and soon filled the racks of major retailers, boutiques and online shops like Shopbop. Changing to and from bikinis as a model, it was a natural transition and one that was filled with industry street-cred. She acknowledges part of her success to her mother who, together with Tori, learned the business end of fashion and worked to build a team that would handle everything from design, sketching, samples, invoices, and millions of to-dos more.

Her advice for young millennials looking to start their own business: “Keep striving and don’t give up. Age has nothing to do with your ability.”

The Fashion:

Her brand offers a versatile collection of light prints, mix-and-match staples, signature ruching techniques and flattering details that are perfect for a casual beach bum or waves aficionada.

Taking cue from Greek architecture, tiles and stunning white ocean rocks, Tori Praver Swimwear’s Resort collection features a sophisticated yet youthful color palette of light colored earth tones – mauve, patina and latte – infused with a perfect balance of black and white. Stunning pops of limoncello and chili pepper are perfectly placed, resulting in a truly magical color explosion. 

 TORI PRAVER SWIMWEAR / PHOTO COURTESY OF SIMON SOONG

TORI PRAVER SWIMWEAR / PHOTO COURTESY OF SIMON SOONG

Evoking the feeling of a whimsical European vacation, her assortment this year incorporates hand-sewn floral embroidery, in addition to her signature ruching, while a unique eyelet fabric is used to create patterns reminiscent of color blocking. Ever evolving, the line also introduces a new range of coverage for bottoms this season, and compliments the dreamy aesthetic of the Resort Collection with ready-to-wear pieces inclusive of beach ready rompers, overalls, maxis and breezy separates. 

The Parenting:

In between pre-show madness and runway rehearsals, Tori takes a break for mommy-duties. In this moment it becomes evident that she’s being stretched in a million different directions. Coincidentally, her daughter Ryan runs up to her looking for the hug of all hugs as Tori explains her biggest advice to her first-born: Have courage and be kind.

“Being a mom and a businesswoman is a day-to-day challenge,” she says. “But, I know I’m making them proud and setting an example, so it’s all worth it.”

Inspired by Tori Praver’s daughter is the swimwear line’s extension called the ‘Keiki’. The Keiki collection offers a full range of swimwear for girls, mimicking the same signature style and substance from the women’s line to make mother-daughter matching a breeze.

Balancing being in front of and behind the camera, in the design studio and her kids’ bedroom, and prepping to send off creations on a runway is incredibly exhausting. But Tori Praver is another superwoman who found a way to manage it all – and still look great doing it.

For more information visit www.toripraverswimwear.com.

"We Can't Stop, And We Won't Stop"

By now you’re probably wondering how Miley Cyrus’s new song has any relevance to my personal and professional growth. But, I’m going to (one-time-only) argue in her favor when she says:

And we can’t stop
And we won’t stop
We run things, things don’t run we
We don’t take nothing from nobody

If we look at her new song through rose-colored glasses, the message is one I’ve tried to convey in the past: You control your own destiny. The decisions you make alter the course of your life. Don’t let anyone make you doubt that power.

And with that thought, I’ll answer the pressing question: 

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How did you get an internship in New York City?

I grew up in the suburbs of Miami in a middle-class Hispanic family. I graduated from one of the top high schools in the area, but never was there indication that my career would take off at age 20. Except for the fact that I had been planning it since I was 16. I took “planning ahead” no another level in this case but I was not willing to take “no” for answer.

Step 1: Write (yes, literally on a piece of paper using this thing called a pen) down your goals for the month, year, next 5 years, next 10 years.

Toward the end of high school I was sure I waned to be in Public Relations — I was lucky. It takes someone, usually, up until their junior year in college to figure out what the “want to be when they grow up.” I do not recommend this. Selecting your major isn’t as important as it seems so that can wait but by the time you hit year two in college, you should have an idea of what you want your life to look like. You need to have an idea of what makes you passionate enough to work. In high school, I didn’t know what public relations was. But I knew I loved being a part of multiple activities so I could “look well-rounded.” I loved Student Government because I could be a part of a team that “makes the school look good.” I loved to represent. I loved to write. I loved journalism (3 years as editor-in-chief). Everything fell into place later.

Start asking yourself these questions. Start seeking your purpose. Soon.

Step 2: Research like a good PR PRO (or science major…)

I spent my first year of college researching agencies that seemed like they were “on top.” Eventually, it lead to creating a spreadsheet of fashion, corporate and entertainment PR agencies that seemed like a good fit for my resume. As the year went on, I filled it with names, phone numbers and e-mails I collected at networking events or through extensive google digging. I made phone calls when I needed and asked about their internship programs and who the prime contact would be (no, don’t send e-mails to info@interagencynamehere.com). Even more so, I began to research the leaders and PR practitioners I wanted to learn from and what agencies they belonged to.

By the time Winter 2012/2013 came along, I had an Excel spreadsheet full of every little thing I needed to know about the agencies I was applying for — from deadlines to compensation to their company culture. It might be specific to my field, but I knew that researching an “audience” was something I needed to do. This was essential as I would soon be “pitching” why they should hire me. And for other fields, hey, employers are mostly impressed by those that took the time to learn about the company and found ways to put their foot in the door.

Step 3: Become a “pusher,” Cady.

So you’ve got the contacts, you’ve got the interview… but are people listening? The most crucial part of getting the internship is standing out. News flash: your resume probably looks just like the other 50 aspiring interns. Whether it’s through a creative cover letter, a “care” package to an employer (be wary of the line between creativity and bribery), or an out-of-the-box way of introducing yourself, you need to do something to show your employer that you and your three years of experience are better than the girl next door’s three years of experience. The following are tips relevant to the PR business:

  • Write a creative news release about yourself being on the job hunt
  • Create a video campaign on yourself and why you should be hired — simultaneously displaying your iMovie skills
  • Start a revolving social media hashtag on why you should be hired. Example: #hireLC2013
  • Send them a lightbulb in the mail with an attached note that reads: “I’ve got some bright ideas!”

Step 4: Make backups for your back up. And when you’re done, make a back up.

So, you got the magical e-mail that reads “We’d love to add you to our team.” Now what? Learn how to budget, find housing options, arrange school credit, make a list of things to do in a new city, find a means of transporting all your stuff and make arrangements for the days you’ll be away. Wait, what did I say the hard part was? Luckily, this isn’t as difficult as it sounds. If you make a solid plan — consulting a friend or someone who’s done it already is crucial — then you’ve got nothing to worry about while you’re away. Creating a solid back up plan means when the inevitable happens, you’ll be ready for it. This step is crucial because the less time you spent planning and worrying while you’re actually interning, the more time you have for learning. Note that there are options for everything: look for grants or a part time job is you know money is an issue, call friends and ask about housing contacts, talk to your advisor about credit specifications, etc.

Step 5: Love and enjoy the journey.

I’m not going to lie and say it was easy, but appreciating each hiccup was key.  Recognize that this is a learning experience and soak up every moment like a sponge. You have to make it so looking back on your experience brings light into your eyes. With all the work you put into getting your dream internship, you’re deserving of golden memories.

 I challenge you to go out there and run things, don’t let them run you.  Don’t stop.

Lights Up in Washington Hights: My First Days Interning in NYC

Let’s begin with Delta Flight 2151, aka nightmare flight.

So, I leave from Miami International airport at 7 a.m. sharp. Our flight is nearly half full and, as usual, my Delta perks got me at great seats. The pilot starts speaking about his “fighter jet” experience as well as other irrelevant information about himself. About 20 minutes in, he gets on to let us know we would be making an “emergency landing” due to something failing in the engine and generator realm. As I look out my window, I realize we’re still over water. My first thought:

LORD JESUS IT’S A FIRRRREEEEEE. WE’RE LANDING IN THE OCEAN. TIME TO FIND THE OXYEN MASKS AND USE MY SEAT AS A FLOTATION DEVICE. WAIT. WHAT DO THEY USUALLY SAY ABOUT LIFE VESTS?

What actually happened? A close descend onto the water and a safe landing in Ft. Lauderdale airport.

It wasn’t until about three hours and 10 angry phone calls later that I finally got a “standby” ticket on the next Delta flight to LGA Airport. Yes, this meant I got a “middle seat” somewhere in the butt of the plane. But, I just needed to get to NYC ASAP.

Me: I could’ve waited for my first class seat on the 1:50 flight or jumped on the 10:50 like a peasant and get to NYC faster.

I’m currently a peasant.

Veronica: Hahaha, the sacrifices one must make to reach a dream. You’ll be ok, my darling.

A couple of hours, two bags of airline peanuts and six cinnamon cookies later, I finally arrive to place I would be calling home for months to come.

The shuttle I ordered took about a year and a half to take me to my destination, but I did go the economic route and pay $20. I dropped my hefty bag off at the Hotel Alexander and quickly made my way to my next stop, West 187th Street.

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Oh, but the adventure did not end there. Eating at a Subway in front of a Subway (checking that off my bucket list) meant becoming a Dominican commodity. The cashier made me feel like the queen of his world — unfortunately he was about twice my age. Next, I decide to take the subway to the “next stop,” the apartment I was staying at but I soon discovered that line was out of service. Send help.

Until my permanent housing is ready, I stayed in the home of an incredible woman and her cozy apartment near the Washington Heights area. I woke up every day to the smell of “pastelitos” from the local bakery, a “buenos dias” from the fruitstand man and a random person blowing a kiss in my direction.

I did not run into a single problem the entire time I was here. It definitely reminded me of home back in Miami and I definitely had really neat experiences meeting other people she hosts as couchsurfers as well as her daily routine — 1 million thanks to Gerlis and her cute little family!

Monday: First day of work at The Hartman Group!

Located in the heart of Times Square and the Theater District, is my summer internship at The Hartman Group. This agency features Broadway clients across the board! I’m probably not at a discretion to speak about the exact people I worked with or the projects I was asked to complete, but I can tell you it’s been a blast! What I loved the most was being able to write on my first day. The staff is very friendly, show tunes are constantly playing and, I’ve got to say, there’s a great view.

It’s been a great couple of days so far and aside from all the New York experiences and learning gains in PR, I’m definitely learning a lot about myself. Experiencing so much time alone means I can focus on the parts of me I haven’t yet discovered. The things I miss the most are the things that meant the most to me back at home. A great example:

Also, the people that drove me the most nuts are the people I miss the most. As my dad’s recently been admitted to the hospital, I can’t help but think about him. Being over one thousand miles away is difficult. I’m only a phone call away, but the miles between myself and those I love are endless.

For now, I’ve got to fall in love with one person and one person only:

New York [effin’] City.