Young adults go through the strangest of emotions; between figuring out a career path, making money for social life needs, deciding between school (or to not even go to one – what would one do then?), graduation, finding jobs after graduation – the list goes on forever. It can be a chaotic ride yet most do survive; but we will help you be a champion.
One of avenues people aged between 18-25 struggle with is handling their money – most spend their weeks adopting hand to mouth formula; they immediately spend their earnings right away. Unfortunately, going into adulthood involves practicing dealing with basic finances – not the easiest of tasks especially when instant gratification is firmly required
WRITE down how much and what you want you spend on weekly – free balling this has never worked out for anybody. To do this right, your bills will always have to come first on this list – and so would saving (we’ll discuss this later). Being organized is quintessential to budgeting which writing down helps with. Apps like Mint can help you get started on this and enable you to always stay on track! Keep in mind that the idea is to actually follow through on your list. It will be very difficult in the beginning but stick it out for about 3 months and it will become second nature.
Many young adults are very interested in investing in stocks – let’s be honest, investing in stocks is as good as gambling and chances are you will not be walking out a millionaire within a year past investing; stocks are not formula to get rich quick. Instead, investing is more like a luxury so it is best to invest a portion of your savings you wouldn’t mind losing.
However, investing in structures like 401(k) is highly encouraged. You get to put away money for your future and get some from your employer – there is no better/safer deal than this.
Handling Debts (vs. Saving)
Many (if not most) young adults have a noose called debt gripping them – mainly because of the insanity associated student loans. Now, not paying your debts will have more immediate consequences than not being able to save right away. In fact, you have to make paying off the debts your number one priority – this means making numerous sacrifices in your lifestyle. Do not settle for paying the minimum monthly requirement and instead pay as much more as you can; the money you save on not paying the interest in the end will be glorious and your savings can begin faster.
It is also encouraged that you try to refinance all your loans into one with lower rate – yes, the length of term will increase, but the idea is to benefit from the low rate and continue paying the same (or more) amount so the principle is paid of faster and less is spent on interest.
Savings is the last thing on the minds of most young adults. It must be realized how crucial it is to put away at least 10% of your paycheck away just for emergencies. Losing jobs, getting injured, requiring new cars – emergencies knock on your down when you least expect it and hurt the most when you are least prepared.
Most go by the idea of saving what is left after spending; this is only half true. Yes, you should save after paying your debts and bills – but before you splurge. So do make it a special point to add a minimum 10% savings into your budget as well.