Financial independence is a big milestone for 20-somethings. However, mounting debts and entry-level jobs can often make that independence difficult. Developing good money saving habits early on, while not necessarily easy, can help you obtain financial stability much sooner and make the sacrifices worth it.
Set realistic goals
Saving isn't going to come easy and it's important to understand that. It's going to take time and work and patience. Set reasonable expectations about how much you are going to be making once you graduate. Many graduates leave college thinking they will be making a lot of money but that often isn't the case. Good paying jobs are out there, they just may not be the first job you get out of college.
Find the fun in penny-pinching
Learn how to be frugal and learn how to love it. Secondhand clothes can save you money and be trendy at the same time. Learn how to cook meals that consist of the cheapest supplies possible by using coupons and sales. Secondhand stores are always a good way to furnish you home with decorations and furniture that are gently used but still have years of wear on them.
Make a budget
The key to all financial success is fairly simple; spend less money than you earn. In order to do this, making a budget is crucial. Track your spending, figure out where you spend your money and then figure out what you can cut out so you can apply that money to other, more important parts of your budget. Use technology to your advantage and track your budget through one of the many apps and programs that are available to you.
No, really. Track your spending
Of course you have a general idea of where you money goes each week. But there is always going to be a coffee here or a quick lunch out there that you don't account for. These little one-off's add up. Keeping track of absolutely everything that you spend your money on will give you the full picture so you can cut accordingly and make room in the budget for the little but important things like coffee.
Open a Savings Account
Open a savings account and then treat it as if it only goes one way; money goes in but cannot go out. Get in the habit of making regular deposits. A good tip is to make regular transfers or deposits each month, treating it like another monthly bill that needs to be paid so you make room for it in your budget. Making it a regular thing that you cannot withdraw from will help build up a fund for when you need it later in life.
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