Are you an independent young adult looking for some financial advice? Then you’ve come to the right place! Here you’ll find 6 helpful financial tips for young adults.
As over 60% of millennials have less than $1,000 saved, there are lots of challenges to young adults who want to get their finances in order. Between the difficulty of the gig economy and the rising costs of living, many young people are struggling to make ends meet. With a few financial tips, you can take yourself from living on the financial edge to getting comfortably seated in a safe financial position.
Saving takes a lot of willpower and the ability to even have extra income. When it comes to planning for retirement, it can feel like a foreign language to plenty of young adults. Without the right education, many young people can feel lost at sea financially.
If you’re interested in finding new ways to prepare for your financial future, follow these 6 financial tips.
1. Hold Off On Credit
The best way to cripple your financial situation for the rest of your life is to sign up for a credit card. Once you have a credit card in your pocket, it can be tempting to use it whenever you think you need it. However, the longer you hold off on credit, the better you’ll be.
You need to cultivate a way of thinking that focuses on how much money you really have at any given point. Thinking of your credit line as an extension of your bank account is dangerous. You could miscalculate yourself into bankruptcy before you’re 30.
If you don’t need to make any major purchases in the next year or two, you don’t really have a need for a credit card. If you can save enough for a laptop, your apartment security deposit, and your day to day spending, you’ll be able to be without one for awhile.
The downside is that you won’t have a strong credit history. There are cards with limited credit lines, say around $500, that you could open and use only once a month and pay off immediately. That would be your ideal move.
If you damage your credit, it can always be repaired.
2. Always Have A Savings Account
As soon as you start bringing home a paycheck from a job of any kind, you should have a savings account. A box of cash could easily get spent. A section of your checking account that you swear you’ll never spend could also easily get spent.
A savings account that you never check at all is the way to go. Some employers will even partition your pay so that some amount always goes into your savings.
No matter how small your contribution is, you should always be putting a little something into it. Even $25 a week will add up generously. If you do this over the course of your twenties, you’ll end up ready to make a down payment on a home by the time you’re 30.
3. Search For Free Checking
Paying for a checking account is for the birds. While you’re young, you should be able to find ways to get a free checking account.
Lots of banks compete over getting the loyalty of a customer in their twenties or early thirties. They’ll offer free student checking that could extend for many years after school.
They could also offer you a free account because of where you work or what profession you’re in. Ask around to different banks. Ask your friends where they do their checking.
Most banks know they’re at risk of losing their business to online no-fee checking accounts so they’ll do what they can to keep you as a customer.
4. Scope Out the Perks
When searching for a bank, make sure you’re always looking for what perks you could be getting. Aside from a cooler or a beach chair, you should be eligible for some kind of signing bonus. This is another reason to shop around for your account.
You’ll find varying policies regarding overdrafts. Some accounts will allow you one or even two a month. They’ll waive the fees if you’re a dependable customer.
They might even waive ATM fees for people who are living outside of an area they service. If you need cash and need to use another bank’s ATM, make sure your bank is going to cover you for that. There are enough banks out there doing that that you should be able to open an account with one.
Make sure they also cover transfers into your savings account in case you feel like you want to start putting away more.
5. No Frills
One of the hardest things when you’re trying to manage your finances is resisting the temptation of frills. You might want to splurge on a stylish pair of shoes, a cool gadget, or a new tablet. Unless you really need these things, you need to exert self-control.
Giving in to the urges to spend money on things you don’t need won’t pay off the way you want it to in the end. It can be a struggle but try to avoid the frills of buying too many things until you can afford them.
For tips on living well on a budget, find out more here.
6. Prioritize Your Goals
You need to make sure you know what your financial goals are.
If you have student loans, you should clearly focus on paying them off. If you’re planning on saving for a house, think about how those two things fit together. If you’re simultaneously saving to start a family, you’re now talking about a lot of moving parts.
Even if you want to save for a vacation, you should consider a separate account. It will be too tempting to dip in when you need that money. The same goes for your retirement.
Financial Tips Are Different For Everyone
No matter who you are, you’ll have your own unique approach to dealing with money. These financial tips are merely an outline of some good practices. If you’re managing to balance your budget and keep your head above water at all, you’re in a good spot.
If you’re worried you might be in danger of making financial mistakes, be sure to avoid these missteps that can have long-lasting effects.