Coming fresh out of college, most twenty year olds look forward to earning more than their allowance and their part-time jobs and start living the life they all dreamed of living: shopping sprees, buying a car of their dreams, moving into their own apartments, etc. While this might seem like these twenty-somethings expect that money will come easier for them now that they can get a high-paying full-time job, they should remember that this will not always be the case.
Here’s the real situation: a fresh college graduate will probably have racked up some debt with college loan, living on credit, and eating fast food takeouts on a daily basis. At the first encounter with a real paycheck (usually a sizable amount compared that what they were receiving as students or part-timers) means that they can step away from this lifestyle and start living the way they want to. Consider this: getting more money does not necessarily mean being able to afford luxuries like a brand new sports car. It’s not how much a person makes, but how much a person saves. Now—how can a twenty year old person save enough if every paycheck is spent? Here are a few things twentysomethings can do to save and get themselves out of debt.
Get rid of credit cards if there are any. This can bury you in further debt. You are better off using cash or debit cards when managing finances. Credit cards can really ruin a budget, because the mentality of being able to afford things now and pay it later is dangerous, especially with the times today.
Also opt not to buy what’s the newest and flashiest in the market, but go for more practical decisions. Maybe it’s not the time to buy that BMW sports car you’ve been dreaming of, but maybe a secondhand reliable Toyota can get you to places you need to be. As with clothes, it is true that you should invest in business suits especially for job interviews or potential employment gatherings, but for other things, be more practical with your purchases.
It may sound a little strange and peculiar, but also consider moving back in with your parents or sharing rent with another friend. While being in your twenties means getting the freedom you’ve been waiting for a long time, these kinds of living arrangements can do you good for the long run. Moving back in with your parents is a cheaper and practical alternative—rent is not expensive, and the comforts of home are available to you. Work out options with parents just like you would with a landlord so as not to feel like you will be living off them: you can volunteer to pay rent during your stay and if they refuse to accept any payment for rent, offer to compensate your board and lodging by volunteering to pay for electric and water bills. If you really want to feel that you are moving out and you want to be on your own, don’t live in your old room but instead convert the garage into a new living space. Cheaper housing costs means more savings for a bigger house in the long run.
These are just starter tips, there are plenty of other things a twentysomething can do to save now and reap the benefits later on in life.