If you’re in your 20s and don’t have a clue how to handle your personal finances, you’re definitely not alone. Money management is a crucial life skill no longer included in a typical school curriculum. It’s up to our parents to teach us how to control our impulse to spend, to save up for bigger expenses, and to quickly repay people who generously loan us money. But sometimes these life lessons get skipped over at home too.
No need to panic!
Controlling your personal finances is all about staying organized. If you enjoy making spreadsheets and crunching numbers, you’ll do just fine.
Even if you’re not a fan of math, you can use some smart and simple tactics to ensure you have enough money for your expenses and don’t go overboard on spending your “fun funds.”
Regardless of how much money you earn with each paycheck, learning how to spend money wisely is a key aspect of managing your personal finances. Start by taking advantage of your local library and its free resources and entertainment. Familiarize yourself with local thrift stores and flea markets. Really need to buy something new? Learn how to save up!
Other common financial mistakes to avoid in your 20s include spending money as a way to feel good, failing to plan for your retirement, not taking full advantage of benefits offered by your employer, not balancing your checkbook on a regular basis, having no weekly or monthly budget, or not consulting your budget before each purchase.
All of these mistakes can be overcome.
Even just being aware of the finite nature of your money and getting into the habit of thinking before you spend will make a significant difference on the health of your personal finances. If you find that your income is insufficient for your needs, jump on over to the Career section for tips on developing a side hustle or searching for a better-paying job. If you have a lot of specific questions about your personal finances, explore our directory to find a financial coach.