“Young people use apps today for everything. But they often lose track of how much they are spending and that causes problems. They don’t realize how much debt they have run up,” Blecker says. She says young people trying to build up wealth can and should use apps that track monthly spending.

“You open up the app and you see the numbers in the red and you automatically know you are overspending for the month,” she notes. “You see them in the green and you see what you have left for the month.”

She adds that technology should be used so young people can employ the pay-yourself-first strategy employed by many generations.

“You set it up so that money is taken out of their paychecks automatically each pay period,” she says.

How much?

Another advisor says you should start out with a big number, if you can, but the top priority is getting young people started on a savings habit as soon as possible.

Judith Ward, a CFP with T. Rowe Price, thinks saving 15% is a healthy goal. But she adds “it’s OK if you can’t save the full amount today. Simply getting started and then steadily increasing your contributions can help get your savings strategy on track.”

Achieving adequate savings outside of qualified plans is also critical, advisors say. Otherwise many young people will be tempted to break into their qualified plans whenever there is some problem. And that could hurt any saving plan because of unexpected taxes and penalties.

“The problem is ultimately that investment education isn’t being taught in schools; young people need help as soon as possible,” says Ryan Brinks, assistant publisher of Finder.com, a financial advisory website.

It’s critical, he says, that young people are taught to have saving and payment systems in place that will automatically help them save.