Money Principles You Should Know by 25

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Having bad financial habits can create tons of unnecessary stress for you! Having to live paycheck to paycheck and always count pennies can really derail us from living our life to the fullest. Your 20’s is the perfect time to learn to be financially smart and independent. I live by these five money principles so I can save more, afford more, and live comfortably. If you are looking to take control of your financial life, these 5 steps will help you grow!

  • Savings account

A savings account is a necessary step in being a finically responsible adult. A savings account is there for all those unexpected finances like when your dog needs surgery after eating multiple children toys or when your ex-boyfriend keys your car. Besides those ridiculous emergency situations, you shouldn’t touch it! A savings account isn’t for shopping sprees, late night taco bell cravings, or nights out at the bar.

Your savings account should NEVER fall below 1,000 dollars. (If it currently is, that’s okay —it’s a learning process.) However, you should transfer at least 10% of your income every payday. That way, you don’t even have to think about that money! Poof! If you never had it to play with, you can’t be upset when it goes towards savings… right?

I know a savings account isn’t funWe want the satisfaction of our hard work NOW but it’s important we plan for the future. Imagine losing your job. You should have enough money in savings to be able to survive for 3 months while you search for a new one.

If you’re really terrible at saving, consider downloading Digit. Digit tracks your spending and learns your financial habits, they will automatically help you save by transferring small amounts of money from checking accounts into your own Digit account. Learn more about Digit here.

  • Live below your means

I’ve had multiple jobs throughout my life but it never prepares you for when you receive a 1,000+ paycheck! When you first start making the big bucks, you immediately want to spend it all! I spent half of my first paycheck on a smart TV that I barely turn on nowadays. Learn from me: Just because you have the money does not mean you should spend it all!

Even though you’re making more money, don’t change your spending habits. You should ALWAYS live below your means. A great example is that you may be able to afford a new 2017 Mazda 3 but go for the Honda Fit. Monthly payments will be 100$ less.

I practice living below my means by shopping secondhand, buying in bulk, and clipping coupons!

  • Prioritize your spending

You have multiple bills to pay and while everything needs to be paid… some things are more important than others! You can live without cable but if you don’t pay your rent, you won’t have anywhere to live! Sit down and figure out what your most important expenses are. Pay those at the beginning of the month.

Think of prioritizing like an apothecary scale: On one side are those cute shoes you saw at T.J. Maxx for 30$ while on the other is this week’s lunch. Which outweighs the other? When you spend money, you may not be able to afford other items in return. Adulting comes with a lot of difficult choices!

By prioritizing your spending, you may have to sacrifice some of your other expenses. I know Netflix and Spotify seem NECESSARY but you CAN live without it! I’m currently learning to eat out less so I can afford other nice things.

  • Create a budget

By having a budget, you can keep an eye on your expenses and stay in your limit.

It seems simple, but knowing what you spend is probably one of the simplest habits to start but one of the hardest to maintain. Much like exercising or dieting, tracking your expenses is great at first when the goal is fresh. Then, it gets tedious over time.

 However, if you use a free app like Mint, you can link all your accounts and see your spending in one place. By creating a budget you’re able to know where you are spending your money most, be more aware of your spending habits and thus, decide what you can and cannot afford. (Bye bye Starbucks.)

  • Don’t rack up debt

Debt sucks… It baffles me that some people will happily rack up more debt before paying past debts off. It’s not worth it!

Focus on paying your debt off before creating more. So, before you purchase a new laptop, pay off your TV. 

Racking up debt will cause you to have a poor credit score. Making it more difficult for you in the future. You need a good credit score to secure a loan for a car, or a mortgage. Why would you want to do that, right? Building good credit is essential in your life as a consumer. Pay that shit off.

“Adulting” may not be rainbows and unicorns, but it doesn’t always have to be difficult! If you form good financial habits while you’re young, your wallet, credit, and future self will thank you.

 

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36 Comments

  1. Katie Tabor

    Love this post! I totally agree with all of these points but it definitely took me until 26 to learn them the hard way 🙂

    14 . Dec . 2017
  2. Kristiana Wajnblom

    I wish I would have started saving sooner, it’s one of my biggest regrets. I also got myself into debt and have slowly but surely paid it off.. while losing hundreds of dollars in interest payments. These are solid tips!

    14 . Dec . 2017
  3. Alice

    I’ve recently started up a savings account and I’m trying to build up a decent amount! Planning to go to Japan next year so I need to be very strict with myself haha. I’ve started it so late compared to other people though, other people my age have had one for years x

    Alice http://www.accordingtoalicex.com

    14 . Dec . 2017
  4. Jodi Major

    Wonderful and true tips! I wish I had learned them before I was 20 and actually used them. I am all but 40 and STILL struggle with my finances. Maybe someday I’ll adult my money! 🙂

    14 . Dec . 2017
  5. Beth

    Such great advice, so much stuff I wish I had known at 25 and sadly have only figured out in my 30s. But the good news is that we’re on track in our house now!

    14 . Dec . 2017
  6. Jillian

    I am sure this advice could be used by many. At 25 it is very hard to not have debt though with most people at that age just getting out of college or in master or higher degree programs or getting married.

    14 . Dec . 2017
  7. Mindy

    Avoiding debt is key! I use my credit cards like debits so I never get into a bad situation. Great tips!
    Xo Mindy amixofmin.com

    14 . Dec . 2017
  8. ShootingStarsMag

    I used to have over 1,000 in my savings but it’s definitely a lot lower after a couple vacations so I’m working on adding more. I do think having one is really important though, and if I lived on my own, etc. I’d definitely be saving a TON more. Right now though I only have a part-time job so it can be tough. Any money I make from the blog almost always goes in savings and that can help over time.

    Lauren

    14 . Dec . 2017
  9. Annaliese

    I only use my credit cards like debit cards- I never spend more on them than I have in my bank accounts! Smart tips girly!!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

    14 . Dec . 2017
  10. Katie

    I definitely think these are important principles! I can’t say I’ve always been great about following them and now I’m 30 and trying to fix some mistakes, but sometimes I think we have to learn things the hard way, even when it’s not fun.

    14 . Dec . 2017
  11. Bella

    Love this post, thanks for sharing this information super helpful and useful!

    14 . Dec . 2017
  12. Rachel R Ritlop

    these are great principles to live by! Getting clear on your finances at a young age is so important!

    14 . Dec . 2017
  13. Ash

    what a great post, i have been trying to save more now that i am getting older and these tips are making it more easy for me.

    15 . Dec . 2017
  14. Amber S.

    Ouch! I’m 34 and still haven’t achieved a lot of these! I struggle with saving, and with living below my means, because I’m such an impulse shopper. I have managed to create a feasible budget for myself this past year, and I stuck to it pretty well. Im going to incorporate a few of your tips in the new year!

    15 . Dec . 2017
  15. Nikki Gwin

    I wish I had known this stuff back then! I didn’t. One more thing I’d add…. start preparing for retirement NOW! I didn’t and now I’m 56.
    🙂 gwingal

    15 . Dec . 2017
  16. Chelsea

    Living below my means is where I struggle- LOL.

    15 . Dec . 2017
  17. Stephanie | Adventures in Aussieland

    These are all awesome pointers. I really wish I had started saving before I graduated Uni. I feel like a lot of my savings disappeared when I immigrated to Australia so I kind of have to start over.

    15 . Dec . 2017
  18. Quirky Homemaker

    This is so important to learn while you’re in your 20s. And start saving for retirement NOW. Even if it’s just a little. Do it!

    15 . Dec . 2017
  19. Carley

    These are all so fantastically true. I honestly believe that following these principles is why I have been so financially successful despite my young age. No one ever “taught” me. I watched my parents struggle royally because they never practiced any of these so I just kind of knew that I needed to do anything but what they were doing.

    15 . Dec . 2017
  20. McKenna Bleu

    Living below your means is definitely key. You don’t want to start out adult life in debt.

    15 . Dec . 2017
  21. Azanique

    These are all such great tips! Learning how to save it a great tip.

    -xo, Azanique | http://www.lotsofsass.com

    15 . Dec . 2017
  22. Tiffany Khyla

    These are all so important! I wish I had been better at managing my money at a younger age.

    15 . Dec . 2017
  23. Andrea

    Girl I am here for all of those tips. I am such a money nerd, and it’s amazing how people don’t look at debt like a bad thing because they make payments.

    15 . Dec . 2017
  24. Joanna

    I agree that you should always put at least 10% in a saving’s account and also live below your means. This way you won’t have to worry that the month will finish before you run out of money. You should never run out of money if you are reasonable with budgeting.

    15 . Dec . 2017
  25. Ithfifi

    Such good advice! I feel like its a lesson you that benefits you as you grow up too, my mum was always teaching me to save and to value being able to afford the things I wanted. I’m not too bad with money now and I think that her influence paid off but the digit app sounds like it would be really helpful for some!

    15 . Dec . 2017
  26. Vasundhra

    These are excellent tips for managing finances. I think that we should save before spending and it should not be the other way round. And, it is also important to build an emergency fund!

    15 . Dec . 2017
  27. Preet

    These are so helpful tips for everyone whether they have just started earning or for anyone looking to manage their finances. I agree with you, prioritizing my spendings have really changed the way I used to manage my finances.

    15 . Dec . 2017
  28. Cleo

    I like the 10% rule for payday and living within your means. Those two things alone will save anyone a fortune! Brilliant tips!

    16 . Dec . 2017
  29. Amy Dong

    Amen to not accruing debt. It’s the #1 thing we keep teaching the kids as we try to model it to them as well. It’s so good to have financial things in order, especially with the new year almost here.

    16 . Dec . 2017
  30. Nawdeeya

    Working in the finance industry, I have come to realize that there are a lot of young individuals that are not taught the concept of proper spending. You provided very valid points. These are all very helpful tips to provide someone in there 20’s or even younger.

    16 . Dec . 2017
  31. Southern & Style

    These are all great tips! My husband and I have been working hard on bulking up our savings account while dialing back the debt we have (we own a farm, so in order to buy in we of course had to have some debt, but we’re paying it off!) I’m excited to have our farm paid for in the next 3-4 years and be able to really start saving for our retirement and building a house one day!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style

    16 . Dec . 2017
  32. Madison

    These are really tips! I’m currently in college and money is certainly tight at the moment. I’m planning on taking fewer courses this next semester so I can get a job and start building up some money in my savings and just life in general. Got to start paying off those loans!

    17 . Dec . 2017
  33. Ellie Plummer

    This is so important! I always make sure that I transfer at least 10% of my wages into my savings every week and I am so glad that I started doing that because it really adds up.

    17 . Dec . 2017
  34. nicholle demag

    Living below your means is such an important thing! Just because you have the money doesn’t mean you should spend it!
    -Nicholle
    http://www.nichollesophia.com

    17 . Dec . 2017
  35. Audrey Marie

    Every two weeks when I get paid the first thing I do when checking my bank account is transfer money to my savings. I also love the idea of living below your means. I need to practice that one a bit more!

    18 . Dec . 2017
  36. katie

    Yes to all of these! I love the point about living below your means. That’s exactly what my husband and I do!

    Katie | millennialonthemove.com

    19 . Dec . 2017

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