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In honor of National Financial Literacy Month, TIAA-CREF identified steps members of Generation Y can take to become financially independent.

Managing expenses should be the top priority of individuals in their late teens and early 20s because this is the time when most people make the least amount of money. Staying current on the benefit programs offered by your employer is one of the best ways to cut costs, the report said. For example, many employers offer flexible spending accounts that allow employees to save on certain health care or dependent care expenses. Discounts on health club memberships and cell phone service also are common perks. The more money you can save on day-to-day expenses, the more you can put toward reducing debt or funding other financial goals.

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