Make the most of being in your 20s by learning how to save money and live better! Here are 12 frugal living tips so you can be money savvy while still having fun!
12 Best Ways To Save Money, Live Better In Your 20s
Let me tell you something about being in your 20s: it’s one of the best times of your life! You’re young, you look your best, you feel you can do anything and conquer the world, and you have the energy for basically everything. But it’s also the time when you have to take on more responsibility as you transition toward adulthood. Let these strategies to guide so you can save money and live better.
1. Prep home-cooked meals
Do you know a huge chunk of your budget goes to takeaways and eat outs? In 2014, an average American spent $1,200 on fast food. That’s a whole lot of money you can save for emergencies or pay for rent.
It’s time to tackle the oven or the stovetop and whip easy, simple, but delicious and healthy recipes. If you think you won’t have the time to cook every day, then try making make-ahead meals. You can cook them in batches during the weekend, separate them into microwavable containers or Ziploc bags, store them in the freezer, and thaw them or put them in the microwave when you’re ready to eat.
2. Build an emergency fund
I know . . . you’re in your 20s. You’re at the prime of your life. You should be celebrating and having fun, etc. Besides, you’ve got a job, right? Well, here’s the truth. Nothing is permanent. You can get sick or lose a job. Your brand-new car breaks down and needs immediate repair. Do you have the money for it?
That’s why it’s always wise to save for the rainy day. Build your emergency or crisis fund. You don’t have to rush this. Save whatever you can per payroll and “forget about it.” Nevertheless, make it your goal to keep at least 6 months’ worth of your expenses.
3. Start investing
One of the practical ways to be more frugal is to save at least 10 percent of your gross income per month. When I was in my 20s, I did that too. But do you know what else I learned? It’s not enough you save. You need to pair it with investing.
Investing is a touchy subject to talk about when you’re in your 20s, but it’s something you need to take seriously for two reasons. One, you’re young. In case your investment doesn’t work out, you always have time to bounce back. Second, the earlier you invest, the more you grow your money tremendously. In fact, you can start building funds for your retirement!
If you are ready to invest, talk it over with a financial planner or even your bank. As a start, find out how you can earn more interest on your savings.
4. Build your credit score
A credit score is basically a number that determines your financial status, whether you have piles of debt to pay, you’ve filed for bankruptcy, have defaulted in some of your repayments, if you have several credit cards, etc. There are many factors used to determine your credit score, but the bottom line is if it’s pretty bad – say, 400 and below – you’ll find it hard to apply for a loan in the future.
Perhaps you want to avoid having a credit card altogether. Sad to say, a lack of credit history won’t bode well either for your hopes of getting a favorable mortgage. The good news is you’re in your 20s. As long as you’re dedicated, you can correct your debt mistakes and improve your credit score. By the time you’re ready to take a loan, you get better options.
5. Set goals and make them happen
Do you want to save? Do it! How about travel the world? Go for it! Perhaps you’re thinking of opening a salon or a boutique. It doesn’t really matter. Create dreams, make them your goal, and use them to budget your money wisely. You’re still spending, yes, but you’re making every penny count.
6. Budget and track your expenses
Budgeting remains to be one of the wisest saving money ideas out there. When you know your money spending habits, it’s easier to know your needs from your wants. However, it’s not enough you have a budget. You should also track it, so at the end of the month, you have a pretty good idea where your money is going.
Tracking expenses or learning how to budget money doesn’t have to be complicated. Just be diligent enough to list down ALL your expenses every day. At the end of the month, sum them up into different categories and compare your expenses with your budget. If you are spending more than your budget, determine whether you’ve been a little unwise or your budget isn’t enough. Then adjust expenses or budget accordingly.
7. Be wary of credit card use
Credit cards are amazing because they make buying SO easy. We’re all basically a swipe away from our next purchase! If that isn’t enough, every swipe can mean rewards, cash backs, or redeemable points. Sweet deal, right? The harsh truth with credit cards, though, is they need to be paid on their due date or be ready to pay hefty fees and interest.
Should you quit using a credit card? Nope. In fact, I recommend you have at least one as, again, it can help you build a good credit score and history. However, don’t depend on it for everything. A little trick to help you decide whether to use the plastic or not is to ask this: can I pay this item in cash? If you can’t, then think twice before swiping.
8. Find joy in simple, free, or cheap things
Girls, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars this Valentine’s Day. You can also dine in fancy but affordable restaurants. There are 101 ways to save money while getting the same level of pleasure and experience. Be creative!
9. Travel smart
While the world is your oyster, you don’t have to spend your entire life’s savings for it. There are many ways to be smart when you travel, including scoring cheap tickets. Need one more way to save money on travel? Find a buddy! You get to share expenses and memories. How awesome is that?
10. Embrace DIY
Why buy when you can DIY! Take, for example, cutesy accessories that will go well with your equally fabulous outfits. Sew your own dress ’cause why not? You can even create wood furniture! DIY-ing is beyond great ’cause aside from saving, you also learn a new skill, and that’s always a good thing to add to your list of “adult skills”!
11. Learn life skills
Although you don’t have to be a know-it-all, being a jill-of-all-trades also doesn’t hurt, especially when you find yourself with a flat tire in the middle of a deserted road or when you need a custom dress for a party ASAP.
12. Don’t fall into the mall sales trap
Would you like to know a quick way to save money live better? Control your shopping spree! I’ll be honest: I love a good sale. Who doesn’t? It’s a great way to take advantage of amazing steals from your favorite brands.
But you need to shop in moderation. Better yet, shop only when you have a budget for your wants. Besides, do you need the latest shoes? By the time you’re in your 30s or 40s, you’ll realize what matters are the classic pieces.
Girls, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to look and feel beautiful! Here’s a smart save money live better tip: buy the best drugstore makeup. From eyeshadows to lippies, know the best options here.
What do you think of these tips on how to save money and live better? I know it’s not going to be easy. Sometimes you need to change much of your present lifestyle! But don’t worry, as long as you stick to these goals, and do it one step at a time, your efforts will pay off.
What are your favorite tips on how to save money live better when in your 20s? We’d love to hear them! Please share your comments below. Don’t forget how to live life at its best without spending too much.
Featured image via independent.co.uk