Navigating the financial field as a young adult can be quite challenging. Unfortunately, most people aren’t taught useful financial tips or concepts when they’re going through school. It’s completely up to them to seek out any advice or information to help make informed financial decisions. It’s especially difficult to sort out finances in this day and age when so many people in their 20s have large school loans they need to pay back. Luckily, it isn’t impossible! Here are some pieces of advice to help you deal with your expenses.
Get a budgeting app
This advice is especially important if you’re still in college or live in a more urban area. You’re likely surrounded by friends who want to go out and socialize, so it’s important you keep track of the money you’re spending. Going to happy hour every week can seriously add up – $15 a week times 52 weeks in the year, adds up to nearly $800! Invest in an app like Mint; you can connect your bank account and easily set budgets. Figure out what your monthly income is, then set budgets for groceries, rent, utilities, extra spending, etc. Make sure to cut out useless spending as well, such as always buying coffee on your way to work or ordering take out for lunch. Begin to brew your own coffee and pack and lunch. The money you save will add up quickly.
Create a savings account
Many millennials don’t realize the huge benefits that can come from having a savings account. Set up a savings account with your local bank ASAP because most banks offer a student savings account that has special benefits, like no minimum balance requirement and special interest rates. By putting in a certain amount of money from each paycheck, even if it’s only $10, you’ll quickly save up money for an emergency fund. Remember to not treat it like a second bank account; you’ll be thankful you saved all that money one day in case an emergency ever arises, like job loss, sudden illness, or car issues.
Avoid credit card debt
It can be incredibly tempting to sign up for credit cards, especially when they have great rewards. Most credit cards are free once your application is approved and they offer various perks, such a frequent flier miles, gift cards, and money to spend online. Instead of being drawn in, carefully research the best credit card to get and then only use it to make large payments, for online purchases, or in an emergency. Swiping your card with the attitude you’ll just pay it later quickly adds up and leads to huge amounts of debt that you’ll be paying off for a long time. If you choose to get a card and use it, try to pay off all or as much of the balance every month that you can.
Investigate work benefits
If you’re already working at a full-time job, check out the kind of employee benefits they offer. If you’re searching for a job, always have an understanding of the kind of benefits offered and choose the job with the best perks. Many businesses offer employees a retirement fund or some kind of savings package. Money in a retirement account gets a governmental tax break and a solid 401(k) will go a long way, even when retirement is forty or so years away.