Your 20’s can be a lot of fun. You’re young, you’re free, and you have the world at your fingertips. However, if you’re anything like us, you also probably don’t know what you’re doing. Let’s face it, adulting can be stressful. Even if your mom still makes your dentist appointments (we won’t judge), it still might be time to start thinking about your financial future. Proof yourself against harsh realities and getting trapped in lifestyle servitude by reading Financial Health: 4 Planning Tips when You’re in Your 20’s!
1. You Already Know What We’re Going to Tell You…Budget!
You need a budget, and you probably already know it. Although this might seem like a throwaway tip, hear us out—a budget doesn’t mean you have to stop treating yourself to the little things in life that spark joy. We don’t want to give up our cold brew either.
However, it does mean that you need to start accounting for all of life’s expenses—from the big ones like rent, to the little ones like bottomless mimosas with your crew. By understanding where your money is allocated, you’ll be able to prioritize what actually matters to you, and cut back on things that don’t.
2. You Probably Saw This One Coming, Too…Savings!
You’re a 20-something, not a toddler. Somewhere along life’s journey you already realized that having savings can be a lifesaver—literally. We’re not going to try and convince you that saving is easy or fun, because it isn’t. But there are ways to save that you might not have considered, and that won’t make being financially savvy feel like it’s ruining your best years.
Here are a few creative ways to save:
Get on the Apps – You already use an app for everything from dating to ordering takeout for the third time this week (just put it in the budget!). Why not use an app to handle your savings as well? Many budgeting apps allow you to set up automatic transfers that align with your payday, so you won’t even miss the money.
Set Your Side Hustle Money Aside – If you don’t have a side hustle, are you even in your 20’s? Whether you’re new to earning extra income outside of your 9-5, or you already have several gigs up and running, try allocating your extra money toward your savings. It’ll hurt less than taking money out of your main paycheck.
Make a Clean Break – Just like with an ex, sometimes a clean break is exactly what you need when it comes to your savings. What we mean is, don’t let the relationship status between your savings and the rest of your money get messy. Set up a separate account and let your savings move on. You’ll be less tempted to text them—we mean spend them—later.
3. You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide from Taxes
You don’t have to tell us how annoying, confusing, and intimidating doing your taxes can be. There are a million ways you can scare yourself out of dealing with one of adulthood’s biggest drags. What if you do your taxes wrong? What if you can’t pay your taxes? What’s a W-2 again? Are you a sole proprietor?
We’ve all asked ourselves these questions, but the bottom line is you need to do your taxes. On time. Correctly. Every year. We promise you’ll save yourself time, money, and stress in the long run.
4. Remember: You Won’t Be in Your 20’s Forever
As Lizzo likes to say—truth hurts. You can wish this decade of freedom will last forever all you want, but that’s not going to help you in financial terms when you reach your 30’s and 40’s, etc. And while you might be squeaking by (and having fun) living day to day now, trust us, you won’t want to live that way when you’re older!
Here are a few things you need to plan for in the decades to come:
- Buying a house
- Getting married
- Having kids
- Sending those kids to college
- Buying a beach house (dream big!)
- Unforeseen repairs on that beach house
- Helping your financially unstable, future kids when they’re in their 20’s!
Our point is, you never know what kind of path your life is going to take, and being smart with your money now will allow you to do what makes you happy later. Plus, who doesn’t want a beach house?