by Joan Ko
Your teenage years may be the most thrilling time of your life but once you hit your 20s, it starts to get quite unnerving especially once the responsibilities start to pile up. When you move to the next page in your life, where navigating through less-desired obligations chase you in every turn you take, money is one thing that can be as easy to spend as it is to make. But if you do things the right way, like learning to handle your finances, then it is possible to set yourself for life. Here are some of the things you need to be reminded of while you're at it:
1. Embrace being on a budget.
It doesn't have to be too restrictive, but you need to learn to take your budget seriously. Think about controlling your money rather than letting it control you. Experts say it's wise to save at least 30% of your monthly salary and really committing to not using this extra money unless it's really important. Setting aside a portion of your paycheck requires great discipline, but you'll be more at ease to know you have something for the rainy days. Take baby steps. Putting your loose change in a jar may be a thing for kids but it definitely works.
2. Pay in cash.
If your parents got you a credit card line, you don't need to use it for every purchase you'll make. Honestly, that's the first reason why most adults get sucked into the world of debts. As much as you can muster, try limiting your credit card usage only when it's a matter of emergency and make sure you pay your bank on time. Monitor your purchases by keeping receipts or listing them down after you've made the purchase. So when your monthly bill arrives, you can check thoroughly if it's really what you've used up your credit card for. Sounds like a lot of work, but it's not! You'll get the hang of it gradually because if you want to spend more in the future, you're gonna have to start saving more today.
3. Avoid impulse buying
You need to live within your means. This is easier said than done. Flash sales or monthly payday sales are so hard to avoid, but, for the greater good of your financial future, you need to think of the bigger picture. Will you really be needing that faux leather jacket? Not in this weather! Is your current phone in need of an upgrade? Well, it still works perfectly well. Ask yourself multiple times before you give in to buying stuff that will cost more than your transportation and food allowance put together. Bring homemade lunch to work to avoid buying chips and iced coffees that just cost more than what you've allotted for the day.
4. Learn about investing.
Now this is where you're going to have to need the help of an expert. Stocks and mutual funds are not something you can toy around with, so if you plan on making life investments thru your family bank, make sure you discuss all parameters and all legalities in a clear manner. Ask if you have a question, and do not just settle for what they offer. Ask for other options and recent records of stock performances over the last months so you can be sure that you are investing in something that is already performing well. Getting financial insurance while you're still in your 20s can double and even triple your money's worth in just a number of years. It will be a cause for you to start implementing a Saving and Spending Plan strictly but the returns will be long-term. Your future self will owe you a lot of thanks!
5. Be extra to make extra.
If you have spare time to do side projects and your skills are invaluable to some, then go do it! Your youth is your capital and power! Trust us when we say that you're going to be more responsible with your finances when you start working hard for every penny. Start while you're still young and able. If you take pride in your writing or Photoshop skills, be a contributing content creator. If you enjoy driving people around, try working for app-operated transpo services. There must be something you can do for extra income, so don't be afraid to explore it!
Banner Photography from YouTube, GIFs from GIPHY