Frugal Tips for Young Adults Just Getting Started
After graduating from high school, many young adults head straight to college. Just as many (or perhaps more), however, head straight into the “real world”. Making the transition from living with and depending on your family to being completely on your own can be a challenge for many young adults – especially when it comes to money. If you are a young adult just getting started on your own, the frugal tips below will help you get the most out of your money.
Be Smart About Saving and Spending
As a young adult just getting started in the world, it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of being independent. When you get your first “real” paycheck, your instinct may be to go out and celebrate. Before you blow half of your paycheck on this celebration, take the time to consider a smarter solution like savings.
Many financial planners recommend putting $1 out of every $3 earned into the bank for an emergency fund or for your future. This may sound like a lot and, when you are starting at an entry-level position, it may in fact be a lot. But if you get into the habit early, it can make a huge impact on your future. It may even help you to make other smart choices about your money, especially in terms of how much you spend each month.
Always Plan for Your Future
When you are twenty-one years old, retirement may seem like a lifetime away – and, in truth, it is! But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t start to think about your long-term plan while you are young. In fact, the earlier you start planning and saving for retirement, the better off you are going to be. If you have a job that gives you an IRA, a 401-K, or some other savings plan, take full advantage of it – you will thank yourself three or four decades down the line.
Even if you don’t have a job that is helping you save for retirement, you should pay a visit to your bank and talk to someone about setting up a retirement account. Even if you can only contribute a few hundred dollars a month, it will make a big difference over the long-term.
Take Care of Your Debts Early
It is unfortunate but true that most young adults who enter the workforce do so with the burden of student loan debt. Even if you are lucky enough to have graduated with a solid degree and you immediately find a job, it can be tough to pay off student loans, credit cards, and other forms of debt. As difficult as it may be, however, it will be extremely beneficial for you to pay off those debts as soon as possible. If you can’t pay off all of your debt at one time, start with the highest interest rate first then reevaluate your plan.
Entering the “real world” as a young adult is never easy but it is something everyone must do. The way you think of and spend your money will have a huge impact on your financial success, both in the short-term and in the long-term. Keep these tips in mind as you get started on your own.