The 20-Something’s Guide to Making a Budget was contributed by Josh Adams.
As a young adult, making a budget may be the last thing on your mind. However, thinking ahead is important, especially as you transition into your 20s. This is the period of your life where you will experience much more freedom, and the world opens up for you. There are many things to consider, and during this period, you will be setting the course of your life that will continue well past your 20s.
It’s important to be realistic when making a budget. Think about how much you currently earn and also consider how much you will realistically be earning in the next couple of years. Consider some side hustles if your budget seems less than you would like. The gig economy has many opportunities for making money on the side that can be rewarding and enjoyable.
Pay Yourself First
It’s important to make sure your bills are covered. However, one point that almost every financial guru will tell you is to pay yourself first. Set some money aside and let it grow. The earlier you start putting your money to work in various investments, the more compound interest can work for you.
Invest in Your Education
Despite what you may have heard, college doesn’t teach you everything. Some great websites are out there for learning, and some are free. Consider your passions and what you would like to know more about. One of the best ways to earn money is to become an expert in some area. Just make sure it’s something that interests you.
Find Some Ways to Save Money
There are many ways to save money so that you can stretch that budget of yours. Some examples involve living with a roommate, not spending more than you have, paying off your credit cards monthly (and enjoying the rewards), learning how to cook on a budget, and not feeling that you need to keep up with those who are always spending. Peace of mind and having some extra cash aside definitely beats posting pictures of an expensive meal on Instagram.
Shop Around For the Best Deal
If you are making a big purchase, don’t be afraid to do a little research first. There are so many options; it pays to look around before buying. Take advantage of certain times of the year, such as Black Friday, if you are in the market for a large purchase (such as an electronic one). Apple has deals on their computers and iPads right before school starts and often includes freebies such as AirPods.
Many apps compare prices from many online retailers. Shopping malls are generally the most expensive place to buy most goods. If you are traveling, look for cheap airfares during the local destination’s low season and shop a few months in advance. If you are shopping around for plane tickets, use a VPN or go incognito, as airlines track your search history.
The Best Things In Life Are Free
There are many low-cost or free activities that one can take advantage of. Museums and popular venues often have free days or discounts for students. In the summertime, you can take advantage of free events worldwide. Keep this in mind when traveling. Having a good time doesn’t have to be expensive.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun
It’s important to still have fun! After all, your 20s are some of the best years of your life! Get out and do things! This is the time to travel, try new things, and experience life. While it’s important to be mindful of how you spend your money, you don’t want to be miserly. Let go and have some fun from time to time. After all, you only live once!
The 20-Something’s Guide to Making a Budget was written by Josh Adams. Click here to submit an article to Lifestyle on a Budget!
For more budgeting inspiration, check out 7 Fun Budget-Friendly Date Ideas.