It’s not a big secret that most entry level jobs, like the ones you get as a student or recent graduate, don’t pay well. And if you’re just starting out, you probably have more bills than you’re used to, things like rent, tuition or student loans. Plus food, gas, and all the extra things like dates and nights spent out with friends, the newest gadgets and trends… The list goes on.
And it can be really difficult to balance all of this — especially when you don’t make very much money. But being responsible with the little cash you do have can save yourself the pain of being buried in debt. Because it’s a lot easier to prevent overspending than to get out from under it.
The little things you do can add up to big savings. Budgets can sound intimidating and restrictive. That’s why we prefer “spending plan”, because really it’s like a checklist for your paycheck. Spending plans are really a way for you to handle things you need to do so you can account for the things you want to do.
But a lot of the time, you can be your own worst enemy when it comes to sticking to these plans so you don’t overspend and create further problems later on. So you need to ask yourself: You have the rest of your life ahead of you. Do you want to spend it trying to catch up, or do you want to actually put the effort in to reach those big dreams of yours?
One of the hardest things about being financially savvy is understanding how much you don’t know. Despite needing money to survive, most adults are remarkably undereducated in how to properly manage their finances.
In order to start growing your wealth, you need to create a solid foundation of knowing how to best spend, save, and invest your money. Like you’ve read, this can get really tricky when you don’t have a lot of cash coming in. And that’s why it’s especially important to make smart financial decisions now before it’s too late.
Basically, you need to create a plan. Once you’ve determined your goals, you can work backwards to figure out how to get there.
And what’s the first step?
You guessed it: Work out your spending plan. You can’t see what your limits are until you set them, so it’s really important you get your baseline established. From there, you can determine your priorities and necessities so you have an idea of where your money is going, and where you can start to earmark it for things like savings and investing.
Need a little more help?
Find out how to avoid some of the biggest mistakes that will get in your way by reading“Top Three Money Mistakes to Avoid in Your 20s”