Updated: December 16, 2020
Your 20’s is the time when you’re supposed to start establishing a successful personal financial plan. That is unless you want to stay with your parents until you are 30.
But the truth is that sometimes, life gets in the way and throws things off-balance. And while there’s no clear-cut way to avoid financial downturns, there are definitely habits you can form to help you better manage your finances.
Track your expenses
The hardest thing about tracking your expenses is getting started. Not having the remotest idea of where your money is going can actually cost you thousands in unnecessary expenses.
Keeping track of your spending allows you to visualize how and where you’re spending your money. Thus, it lets you identify the areas in which you can cut back on your expenditure.
This will help you better allocate where your money goes and devise a more strategic savings strategy. There are plenty of free mobile apps that you can download to help you efficiently track your spending.
Start thinking about retirement
Generally speaking, you have fewer financial commitments in your twenties. While it seems too far down the road to even start thinking about, when you start contributing a portion of your monthly income regularly, chances are that you won’t be scurrying around in a mild panic to start saving up for retirement when you’re older.
And on a side note, having something that you know you have to regularly commit towards is a good way to introduce consistency and responsibility into your spending habits. And you’ll automatically balance out your monthly income and spending to accommodate these commitments – which is a good thing.
Pay for value
This essentially translates to spending on products that bring you the best value for your money. Now we’re not saying that to do this, you have to go cold turkey on warehouse sales.
But sometimes, spending more money on quality goods and services that will withstand the test of time is more worth it than paying low prices for low-end merchandise that you’ll have to constantly replace. This is especially true for products that you’ll be using frequently such as consumer electronics and home appliances.
Pay your bills early
For some reason, a lot of us tend to consciously delay paying our bills as it gives us a false sense of being able to stretch out our paycheck.
While this strategy does offer some comfort during the beginning of the month, the same can’t really be said for the end of it when you find yourself surviving on instant noodles so that you can cover your phone bill until your next paycheck arrives.
Paying your bills ahead of time allows you to have more control over your finances. It helps you avoid having to accrue interest. And gives you a better idea of how much disposable income you’re left with. Thus, allowing you to actively decide what you can afford to spend and what needs to go into your savings for the month.
Set and follow personal “rules” for yourself
Establishing certain spending “rules-of-thumb” for yourself can be a useful and effective strategy for ingraining positive money habits.
Something as simple as not spending more than a certain amount a day on food. Or to only buying new clothes during the start, middle, and end of the year; are examples of personal budgeting rules you can impose onto yourself.
Not only do they help to simplify the decision-making process when it comes to how you spend money, but turning these tricks into regular habits can help you grow your wealth in the long run.
This article was written and contributed by the Saleduck Team.