Between paying off student loans, wanting to splurge on that new & Other Stories collection and those ridiculously gorgeous but expensive apartments, becoming finance savvy is somewhat of a universal must. But it certainly doesn’t come easy. Through our struggles as twenty-something year olds, we’ve learnt a few key ins and outs of finance as we stand on our own two feet. In killer heels or kick-ass trainers, that is…
What we learned about money as twenty-somethings:
> A bigger and better job doesn’t mean you have to move or spend more.
By not changing your costs but increasing your salary you’ll be raking in the cash and are able to save some.
> Never spend more than what comes in.
And limit your card to the lowest possible. Otherwise being in debt might become your starting point and you’ll feel constant pressure while looking at that – sign before your account balance.
> Pay off any debt first.
Pay your credit card debt as soon as possible, those high interests won’t be doing you any good. Even if it means spaghetti bolognese for a couple of months. Although, actually, we like the sound of a pasta diet!
> You don’t need everything that you want.
You’ll find that controlling your impulses becomes increasingly easy, and that you’ll feel less need to buy things because they’re on trend or because other people have them.
> Student loans on autopilot.
You’re not in a hurry. Students loans usually have a really small interest rate so make regular, steady payments to pay of your loan and it’ll soon be a thing of the past.
> Build a back-up.
Build a cash back-up pal and make sure you always have a few hundred euros set aside for unexpected costs and bills.
> Insuring yourself is essential.
A crashed laptop, unforeseen doctors bill or stolen bike can wreak financial havoc if you’re not insured. Guaranteed sad times.
> Sometimes a price isn’t negotioable.
Usually it is. No button on that blouse? Get a discount. Rent to high – tell ’em why!
> Setting long term goals helps focus on what you really want.
Do you want your own apartment by 28? Figure out how much you’re gonna need and start saving now.
> Monetize your talent if you can.
Write blogposts, take photographs or try to monetize your special skills as (additional) income.
> Booooring, but it’s must to think about retirement.
Especially if you are your own boss, it’s essential to put away money for the future.
> Research goes a long way (say when you see that exact same bag at 50% off online).
Check to see if you can get what you want for less. There are Groupon deals on great getaways, restaurants and local cinemas all the time, so coupons and discounts can be total moneysavers.
> Last, but certainly NOT least: we stumbled upon this marvelous piece of advice given by StickleyMan (we didn’t come up with the name, no) on Thought Catalog. It’s reaaaaaally good.
“Take some more chances. You know that idea that’s been ruminating in the back of your mind for years? That one that doesn’t have anything to do with your job or your mortgage. That one that falls outside your schema of living and routine and that you shrug off as some immature or impractical idea; as just some silly fantasy. Maybe it’s a crazy business idea or a trip to go live in a hut in India for three months or to breed Pygmy hippos or to become a juggling street performer. Whatever it is, explore it. Maybe even try it. I don’t mean take a stupid, life-threatening risk. I’m not suggesting a trying a lifestyle of meth addiction and bare-knuckle Fight Clubs. But something outside your comfort zone. Try it. Maybe you’ll fail miserably at it. But just try it. Because in about a decade when you’re responsible for more things and more people, you won’t be able to. And you’ll find yourself in a self-imposed mental prison of ‘what-ifs’. And take it for someone who didn’t because I was too scared, too embroiled in my own insecurities and addictions, and so heavily conditioned to fear failure – you’ll wish you did. EDIT: Also, take really good care of your teeth. Floss twice a day.”
For more tips on how to save some cash, check out our easy ways to stop overspending! Any cash lessons you learned in the past year? Tell us in the comments, we’d love to hear how you spend and save.