When you’re in your twenties, it’s easy to assume that you can just use your cash however you’d like, without having to worry about the consequences. After all, you probably don’t have as many responsibilities as you would if you were in your thirties or forties.
However, the truth is that people in their twenties still need to be cautious with their cash. You may need more help than most, as the chances are that you’re living on an entry-level salary while trying desperately to pay off your debt from your student loans.
The good news is that there are ways that you can be more financially savvy before you hit your thirties. Here are some top tips to get you started.
1. Live like a Student
Even if your student days are over, you don’t need to stop living like you’re in full-time education. You’re lucky enough to be at an age where no-one will think twice if you’re continually trying to find as many coupons as possible when you go out shopping, or if you can’t live without a room-mate. For as long as possible, keep living the student lifestyle, by pinching every penny.
Eat at home rather than going out to restaurants with your friends when they ask. Buy things from thrift shops instead of getting them new when you can get away with it. Think about how you can cut costs on every expense by finding discount codes and vouchers online.
2. Look for Extra Ways to Earn Money
There are plenty of ways that you can earn a little extra cash these days if money is tight. You don’t even need to rush from one job to the next. Instead, you can look online for gigs that you can take on within the comfort of your own home.
Freelance roles and online jobs are excellent for giving you an extra dose of income. Even if you don’t need that cash to make ends meet right now, it will come in handy in the future when you need extra assistance saving for your financial goals. You’d be surprised how much extra money you can make just by working a few additional hours a week.
3. Be Career-Oriented
When you’re a little older, you’ll find that applying for a job is less about following your dreams, and more about making sure that you’re earning enough cash each month to pay the bills. It sounds sad, but it’s true. However, when you’re in your 20s, you’ve still got plenty of time to pursue your career ambitions and make a little less cash in the process.
Look for ways that you can get by so that you can take an unpaid internship that could lead to an amazing opportunity in the future. No-one will judge you if you’re still living with your parents in your 20s, after all. Taking a pay cut now may be the best way to set yourself up for better success in the future.
4. Start Saving for Emergencies and Retirement
Remember, it’s never too early to start thinking about the future. Just because you’re in your twenties, doesn’t mean that you can’t make sure that you’re ready for your future by putting some extra cash away for your retirement. Make sure you find out what your employer can offer when it comes to matching or improving your contributions too.
Aside from saving for retirement, it’s also a good idea to look for places where you might be able to put extra cash away in your budget, just in case something goes wrong. This money will come in handy when you discover that your car has suddenly broken down, or that you need to buy a new outfit for a job interview.
5. Handle Debts with Care
Finally, the chances are that you’re going to have at least some debt to deal with when you’re in your twenties, but that doesn’t mean that you should resign yourself to paying more than you need to. Before you agree to taking out a loan, make sure you compare your options check that you’re getting the best interest rates and the lowest fees.
Once you take on a loan, do everything you can to pay it back as quickly as you can too. If you prioritize debts now, then you’ll have more money left over in your income in the future when you’re saving for big and important things like a deposit on a house, or a family.