What most 20-somethings can agree on is that they’re going through a period of changes. Whether you’re preparing to leave college and enter the real world, buying your first car, or you’re getting ready to tie the knot, the most constant thing in your life is probably change. Saving money and achieving financial stability may seem impossible. But when you have clear goals in mind you can successfully set aside money for the future!
You can’t expect to manage your finances well or achieve any sort of goal without a plan. By creating a budget, you’ll have a clear sense of how much money is coming in and how much is going out (and what you’re spending it on). It needs to account for all of your regular expenses. It also needs to show how much money you’re saving. To be an effective saver, putting away money should be something you plan to do in advance. You won’t get far in terms of saving money if you don’t plan ahead or you just save whatever you didn’t spend at the end of the month. That way, you’re prepared to take your next vacation or for emergencies.
PAY THE LOANS FIRST
Many 20-somethings are burdened by student loans. Even if a large portion of the money you would’ve saved is going to your student loan provider, saving even a little bit of your earnings is better than not saving anything at all. The sooner you pay off your loans, the less money you’ll spend in the form of interest. If you’re overwhelmed by the size of your monthly loan payments, speak up. Call your student loan provider and ask whether you qualify for some percent discount (if you have good results). If you have multiple loans and you’re having trouble deciding which one to pay off first, paying off high-interest debt first will save you the most money.
NEW SOURCE OF INCOME
Having some money go into savings every time you make a purchase sounds wonderful. But if you have a large goal in mind, like saving up for a new car or house, you need to make a bigger financial sacrifice and cut costs. Another option is to find another stream of income. Get creative. There’s an endless number of jobs you can take on. Otherwise, think about becoming a grab driver on nights you don’t have anything going on to boost your savings.
If you’re at that point where you’re ready to start investing, start from simple. Determine your risk profile and figure out what your investment options are based on the amount of risk you’re comfortable taking on. Do your research and consider speaking with financial adviser who can guide you. Make an effort to create a diversified portfolio to reduce your exposure to risk. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t keep all of your money in cash. If you’re thinking about buying a car in a year, it makes absolute sense to be in cash. If you’re thinking about going back for studies, it makes sense to have that already in cash. Beyond that, no. Cash is not going to allow for any growth.
THINK ABOUT RETIREMENT
Retirement may be 40 years away, but its okay to start thinking long-term. The money you put away now for retirement means you have to put away less later on to retirement with a healthy income. This is easy if you work for a company that keep a side some percent of money in Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and give it to you during your retirement. What if you work on your own or doing freelance job? Be strict and save your money, think for your future.