Let’s take a minute to be honest; in your twenties you are feeling a little “strapped” on money. We are getting used to this new “adult” lifestyle and we are getting slammed with bills.
It’s true, success & wealth doesn’t happen overnight and you have to work for it. I’ve been through it all when it comes to financial struggles. As I go through my twenties I have learned a few tips to help me become a little more “financially” smart. This helps me to not have to panic to pay my bills on time & to feel a sense of financial stability.
Here’s what I have learned so far…
- Figure out where you are spending your money. Once you find out where all your money is going it makes it easier to fix your problems. Here’s what you need to do: Every time you spend your money write down what you spent it on and how much you spent. Once you do this for a month it’s time to …
- Determine what you really NEED and cut our all the “what you wants”. You may want a new outfit but you need to pay your electric bill. Stop spending your money on things you don’t need! This is one of the biggest issues for most. We spend money on things we want rather than things we need and end up broke! Needs include things like: gas for your car, electric for your home, oil for heat, toilet paper and food. Be wise with what you are spending your money on, I know you want a new dress but do you really need it?
- Eat at home instead of out. It’s time to start cooking for yourself and prepping meals to save you a few extra bucks. In your twenties you will find that a crock pot is your best friend. A crock pot meal can easily last a week! Think of all that money you save.
- Save your change. Instead of dropping your dimes in random spots and forgetting about them, save them! This is probably the easiest thing you can do and you will be surprised at how much it can add up to. I love doing this.
- Make a budget plan. It’s one of the smartest things I do at the beginning of each month. I take my expenses (bills) and divide each one by how many days I work before that bill is due. The answer is how much I need to save each work day to have enough money for the bill by the due date. It really helps to make sure I am paying my bills on time. You can also take your bill and divide it by how many “pay days” you have before it is due. That answer would also be how much you need to save before bill is due.
Ex: Rent(R): 700$ WorkDaysBeforeDue(W): 21
700/21 = 33.3 (34$) which would mean each day I work I would need to save 34$ in order to pay my rent on time.
OR Rent(R): 700 PayChecksBeforeDue(P): 4
700/4 = 175$ which would mean each pay check before my rent is due I would have to save 175$ of it so that I would be able to pay my rent on time.
6. Pay your debts off and build your credit. Of course it is important to establish a good credit but it is also important you don’t drive yourself into debt, ESPECIALLY credit card debt. We always think credit cards are a good idea when you really want something but can’t afford it right then and there. This is a clear indication that you should probably not be buying this item. When using a credit card to build your credit here is a trick: Don’t use your credit card unless you can pay it off right then and there. Look in your wallet and see if you have enough money on you for the item. If the answer is yes, use your credit card to purchase the item and put the cash aside to pay off the credit card immediately. This will make it so that you are not going into crazy credit card debt and it will establish a good credit score at the same time. Don’t put off your debt bills because this will only cause your credit to crumble and will make it even harder to get out of debt in the future. One to two credit cards is fine. Do not have more than that! Credit cards are true enemies in your twenties.
7. Have a day or two where you decide that you are not going to spend any money! This is my favorite thing to do. I make sure not to even treat myself to a coffee. I usually will do this on my days off because then I know that I don’t necessarily have to drive anywhere, so I can save on spending money on gas as well.
8. Put away 10$-25$ a week. Choose how much you can afford to put away each week and save. I promise you the money will add up quicker than you think and before you know it you will feel rich! This is a savings you CAN NOT dip into. Let it be and save, save, save. Keep saving and watch those numbers grow! It truly is the best feeling.
9. Ignore the impulse shopping feels. I am just as guilty as you when it comes to “therapy” shopping. When you are in the worst mood, you think the only thing that will make you feel better is a new pair of shoes. No! No! No! This just gets us into trouble. Instead try watching your favorite movie or going for a walk. You won’t regret it.
10. Cut back on your coffees. I know this is tough. Everyone lives off of coffee! It’s how they survive through their day. That’s what they all say. If you stop spending 2-5$ 5 out of the 7 days of the week, you will save a lot of money! Think about it! It adds up quick. This goes for anything you buy everyday that you don’t need.
11. Let’s talk hair and nails. Another luxury! Do you really need to go out and get your hair colored or your nails painted? Try to paint your own nails if anything! If you do your nails yourself you can save so much! Now when it comes to your hair, it’s okay to flaunt your natural hair color! You’re beautiful either way. I know when I get my hair colored it could easily cost me at least 80$ sometimes a lot more. Be wise and choose a hairstyle that doesn’t cost much to keep up with.
12. Learn how to use coupons. I know it can be tedious and you’d rather not waste your time but it’s not time wasted if it’s money saved! Try it out.
13. Think about getting rid of cable. I know for a fact my cable bill is pretty pricey. I’d rather rely on Netflix or Hulu for 8$ a month and cut my 135$ cable bill in half.
14. Try and do more activities that cost less. Instead of going to the movies wait for it to come to red box. Go for a walk or hike. Have a romantic dinner at home rather than a fancy dinner out.
15. Set financial goals and work on achieving them. Plan for your future. Start investing in your future.
16. Find ways to make extra money on the side. There are many different ways to make a little bit of side cash. Sell old school text books from college. Amazon is your friend. Sell clothing that is still in good shape that you no longer wear (poshmark, letgo). Freelance writing, taking surveys online (swagbucks), using Ibotta for when you do your shopping. These are all ways you can make a little extra money.
17. Rule your twenties, don’t let your twenties rule you.
These are some of my favorite tips for conquering financial struggles once & for all!