It can be hard to remember that you need to be a responsible adult in your early 20s. I mean, we’re all still figuring life out at that point. However, budgeting is something that will not only help you now, but will be something that you’re thanking yourself for 30 years down the road. Plus, budgeting well means you’ll be able to afford some serious upgrades for your apartment — or even upgrading to a better apartment. In order to make that first step into adulthood a little easier, here are tips to help you start budgeting in your 20s.
Text by Katherine Polcari
Pay in Cash
If you tend to spend too much money without realizing it, pay in cash instead. Withdraw a certain amount of cash that you’re willing to spend each month. Then, you can see the money dwindle if you start to overspend. It’s very visual way to keep yourself in check. Just make sure that you keep up with your receipts and with the cash itself!
Track Digital Purchases
While paying in cash can help keep you from overspending, it is not the most practical way to make most purchases. To keep tabs on all of your credit, debit, check, or online purchases, you can keep a log. There are even apps that can track your spending for you.
Have Weekly Budget Check-ins
Look over your spending each week so that you don’t end up blowing a month’s worth of money in two weeks without realizing. You don’t want to be scrounging for money for the rest of the month. If you have a roommate or partner who’s also learning how to budget, it can be helpful to have budget meetings to keep each other accountable.
Only Let Yourself Splurge Occasionally
If you never let yourself splurge, then you’ll end up having a bad relationship with money. While you shouldn’t let yourself go out to dinner every night, there is still a time and a place to treat yourself. Saving for concert tickets or a small vacation is going to be much more rewarding than letting yourself buy a latte every morning.
Start a Savings Account
When you get your paycheck, put 20% of it into your savings account. With some paychecks that may be easier to do than others, but it will be worth it when you start seeing your savings build. Also, don’t touch your savings if you don’t have to. You never know what life is going to throw at you, so think of your savings as an emergency fund. Once you pad your savings, you can buy essentials, like a car or laptop. Until then, be frugal and save for the future.