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10 Common Money Mistakes People Wish They Realized In Their 20s

10 Common Money Mistakes People Wish They Realized In Their 20s

Do you want to be financially secure? Many young adults in their 20s make money mistakes through lack of knowledge, which can result in debt and financial insecurity.

It is important to get on top of your finances now – check out 10 common money mistakes people wish they realized in their 20s.

1. Spending to make themselves feel happy

Many young adults who spend too much money do so because it temporarily helps them to feel good, but mixing money and feelings can be dangerous.

Avoid going shopping if you’re having a bad day – the temporary fix from emotional spending will pass quickly, but actually saving will leave you happier and more fulfilled in the long-term.

2. Not having emergency savings

When you’re in your twenties, having enough money in your bank to pay rent and buy food and a few drinks can feel like more than enough.

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However, planning for an emergency could really help you later down the line – and if there isn’t an emergency later on, you will have savings for a car, or a little to help with the deposit on a house. Try to have 6 months of living expenses saved up as a safety net for the future.

3. Choosing not to make investments

Investing may seem boring and confusing, but it can really benefit your finances. If you do decide to make investments, ask professionals for information and advice.

A bad investment is a waste of money, but once you have some tips and knowledge behind you, you could make an investment that changes your life financially.

4. Being frugal and failing

Often young adults in bad financial situations commit themselves 100% to getting out of debt and saving up, leaving no money for anything extra. This can get very dull very quickly, and can actually result in binges of high spending.

This is no way to live; instead, factor in a small amount of weekly money for fun. Make sure it is a small amount, but you can spend it on whatever you want. This is more likely to help you to save and pay off debt, as you are far less likely to binge spend your money.

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5. Moving out too soon

After a whole life of living at home, many young adults can’t wait to move out and get their own place. While this is fine for many people, it is worth considering staying at home for a little longer as it is a great opportunity to save lots of money.

Ask yourself; do I need to leave immediately, or could I leave in 3 months? How much money do I want to save up before I move out?

6. Not setting long term financial goals

Most people in their twenties have short term financial goals, like paying their rent and bills. However, if you can afford to set short term financial goals, it is likely you can afford to set long term ones too. Decide how much you want to save in a year, and start working towards that.

One day, you may want to start a business or buy a house – setting long term financial goals will make these things possible.

7. Ignoring their employment benefits

If you work in a company, you are probably making small monthly payments towards retirement and healthcare. Many younger people see this as a necessary evil, but it is much more beneficial to you than the company you work for.

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Take some time to look at the terms and agreements surrounding these monthly payments, and see if you could alter your payments to take advantage of any extra financial benefits.

8. Staying in credit card debt

Credit card debt is one of the biggest financial issues for young adults, with interest rates averaging around 16%. If you choose to make the minimum monthly payment, you may be paying off your cards well into your thirties, when you will have other expenses that need paying.

It is difficult to save with debt, and even more so if there is interest too, so try to focus on paying off your credit card debt as soon as possible.

9. Choosing money over growth

Many young people take job offers with a good wage, turning down positions with a lower income but much more opportunity for growth.

It is important to choose growth over money; these learning opportunities and chances for promotion are invaluable, and it is likely you will end up with a much better wage than the first job after a short amount of time.

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10. Spending too much on unnecessary extras

The new iPhone or expensive hair extensions; can you really afford these costs on your current budget? It is important to treat yourself to things you love, but it is also important to sit down and work out if your outgoing expenses are too high.

Before you buy a high-end, luxury product, ask yourself these questions; can I really afford this? Do I need this? Why do I want it?

Featured photo credit: xvire1969 via flickr.com

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Amy Johnson

Freelance writer, editor and social media manager.

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Published on November 20, 2018

The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind

The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind

The truth is, there are many “money saving guides” online, but most don’t cover the root issue for not saving.

Once I’d discovered a few key factors that allowed me to save 10k in one year, I realized why most articles couldn’t help me. The problem is that even with the right strategies you can still fail to save money. You need to have the right systems in place and the right mindset.

In this guide, I’ll cover the best ways to save money — practical yet powerful steps you can take to start saving more. It won’t be easy but with hard work, I’m confident you’ll be able to save more money–even if you’re an impulsive spender.

Why Your Past Prevents You from Saving Money

Are you constantly thinking about your financial mistakes?

If so, these thoughts are holding you back from saving.

I get it, you wish you could go back in time to avoid your financial downfalls. But dwelling over your past will only rob you from your future. Instead, reflect on your mistakes and ask yourself what lessons you can learn from them.

It wasn’t easy for me to accept that I had accumulated thousands of dollars in credit card debt. Once I did, I started heading in the right direction. Embrace your past failures and use them as an opportunity to set new financial goals.

For example, after accepting that you’re thousands of dollars in debt create a plan to be debt free in a year or two. This way when you’ll be at peace even when you get negative thoughts about your finances. Now you can focus more time on saving and less on your past financial mistakes.

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How to Effortlessly Track Your Spending

Stop manually tracking your spending.

Leverage powerful analytic tools such as Personal Capital and these money management apps to do the work for you. This tool has worked for me and has kept me motivated to why I’m saving in the first place. Once you login to your Personal Capital dashboard, you’re able to view your net worth.

When I’d first signed up with Personal Capital, I had a negative net worth, but this motivated me to save more. With this tool, you can also view your spending patterns, expenses, and how much money you’re saving.

Use your net worth as your north star to saving more. Whenever you experience financial setbacks, view how far you’ve come along. Saving money is only half the battle, being consistent is the other half.

The Truth on Why You Keep Failing

Saving money isn’t sexy. If it was, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?

Some people are natural savers, but most are impulsive spenders. Instead of denying that you’re an impulsive spender, embrace it.

Don’t try to save 60 to 70% of your income if this means you’ll live a miserable life. Saving money isn’t a race but a marathon. You’re saving for retirement and for large purchases.

If you’re currently having a hard time saving, start spending more money on nice things. This may sound counterintuitive but hear me out. Wouldn’t it be better to save $200 each month for 12 months instead of $500 for 3 months?

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Most people run into trouble because they create budgets that set them up for failure. This system won’t work for those who are frugal, but chances are they don’t need help saving. This system is for those who can’t save money and need to be rewarded for their hard work.

Only because you’re buying nice things doesn’t mean that you’ll save less. Here are some rules you should have in place:

  1. Save more than 50% of your available money (after expenses)
  2. Only buy nice things after saving
  3. Automate your savings with automatic bank transfers

These are the same rules that helped me save thousands each year while buying the latest iPhone. Focus only on items that are important to you. Remember, you can afford anything but not everything.

How to Foolproof Yourself out of Debt

Personal finance is a game. On one end, you’re earning money; and on the to other, you’re saving. But what ends up counting in the end isn’t how much you earn but how much you save. Research shows that about 60% of Americans spend more than they save.[1]

So how can you separate yourself from the 60%?

By not accumulating more debt. This way you’ll have more money to save and avoid having more financial obligations. A great way to stop accumulating debt is using cash to pay for all your transactions.

This will be challenging, depending on how reliant you are with your credit card, but it’s worth the effort. Not only will you stop accruing debt, but you’ll also be more conscious with what you buy.

For example, you’ll think twice about purchasing a new $200 headphone despite having the cash to buy them. According to a poll conducted by The CreditCards.com, 5 out of 6 Americans are impulsive spenders.[2]

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Telling yourself that you’ll have the discipline to not buy things won’t cut it. This is equal to having junk food in your fridge while trying to eat healthy–it’s only a matter of time before you slip. By using cash to make your purchases, you’ll spend less and save more.

A Proven Formula to Skyrocket Your Savings

Having proven systems in place to help you save more is important, but they’re not the best way to save money.

You can search for dozens of ways to save money, but there’ll always be a limit. Instead of spending the majority of your effort saving, look for ways to increase your income. The truth is that once you have the right systems in place, saving is easy.

What’s challenging is earning more money. There are many routes you can take to achieve this. For example, you can work long and hard at your current job to earn a raise. But there’s one problem–you’re depending on someone else to give you a raise.

Your company will have to have the budget, and you’ll have to know how to toot your own horn to get this raise. This isn’t to say that earning a raise is impossible, but things are better when you’re in control right? That’s why building a side-hustle is the best way to increase your income.

Think of your side-hustle as a part-time job doing something you enjoy. You can sell items on eBay for a profit, or design websites for small businesses. Building a side-hustle will be on the hardest things you’ll do, be too stubborn to quit.

During the early stages, you won’t be making money and that’s okay. Since you already have a source of income, you won’t be dependent on your side-hustle to pay for your expenses. Depending on how much time you invest in your side-hustle, it can one day replace your current income.

Whatever route you take, focus more on earning and save as much as possible. You have more control than you give yourself credit for.

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Transform Yourself into a Saving Money Machine

Saving money isn’t complicated but it’s one of the hardest things you’ll do.

By learning from your mistakes and rewarding yourself after saving you’ll save more. What would you do with an extra $200 or $500 each month? To some, this is life-changing money that can improve the quality of their lives.

The truth is saving money is an art. Save too much and you’ll quit, but save too little and you’ll pay for the consequences in the future. Saving money takes effort and having the right systems in place.

Imagine if you’d started saving an extra $100 this next month? Or, saved $20K in one year? Although it’s hard to imagine, this can be your reality if you follow the principles covered in this guide.

Take a moment to brainstorm which goals you’d be able to reach if you had extra money each month. Use these goals as motivation to help you stay on track on your journey to saving more. If I was able to save thousands of dollars with little guidance, imagine what you’ll be able to do.

What are you waiting for? Go and start saving money, the sky is your limit.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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