It might be hard to think long-term in your twenties, but practicing strong financial habits when you’re young will lay the foundation for a secure future.
It’s hard to think about your financial future when you’re in your twenties. For most twenty-somethings, financial planning seems like just another way of saying that you should stop spending money and stop having fun.
Building a financial plan for your future doesn’t require a complete lifestyle overhaul, however. In fact, focusing on just a few small changes will gradually lower your financial burden and build the means that will help you save for a comfortable retirement. Wealth isn’t grown in a few months; it’s grown over the course of your lifetime.
So how do you work towards less stress and more financial freedom?
What are your financial goals? Are you trying to pay off student loans, get your first apartment, or start an investment fund?
Your financial needs will continue to change throughout your life, but setting a clear target and desired deadline date will help you reach your goals. Figure out exactly what it is you want to achieve, estimate the amount of money you will need to achieve it, and then go about creating a timeline and a monthly budget to help you work towa it.
Track Your Spending
In order to achieve your financial goals, you need to know exactly where your money is going every month.
First, it’s important to make sure you are living within your means. Then, once you have established a budget that works for your lifestyle, keep track of where you do most of your spending. this will help you to cut the unnecessary spending you do every month and put the money you save into an emergency fund or an investment account. Monitoring your account frequently will also lower your risk for identity theft.
Pay Bills on Time
Making late payments has a number of consequences. If you’re late on your bills, you’re often subject to late fees and heavy interest rates. Late payments on your credit card will also lower your credit score. Set calendar alerts or direct deposits to make sure your bills are always on or before their due date.
Build an Emergency Fund
Life happens. You could lose your job unexpectedly, have a medical emergency, or your car could breakdown.
Build an emergency fund to cover at least three months of bills and make sure you are prepared for the unexpected. To be effective, an emergency fund needs to fulfil two criteria—it must be easily accessible and safe. The best place for these emergency funds is either in a traditional savings account or a money market fund.
Establishing good financial habits now will build a happy wallet and achieve whatever goals you have. Start now and thank yourself later!