Are you in your 20s and feeling a little broke? You might be earning an entry-level salary while trying to pay off college debt. You may be living with roommates, eating pasta and bagels, because it’s cheap.
Don’t worry, there is good news. Your 20s are an ideal time to set yourself up for a solid financial future.
Here are 5 good financial habits you can start with today.
1. Keep Living Like a Student
Lucky for you, it’s still socially acceptable to continue living like a broke college student even into your 20s. Do yourself a favor and maintain this student lifestyle even after you get your first job and a few promotions.
- Keep living with roommates for as long as you can - or as long as you can stand your roommate.
- Continue cooking dinner at home rather than dining at restaurants - ramen noodles taste just as good when you’re working.
- Keep wearing clothes from thrift stores or discount shops - thrift store chic still works in your 20s.
Follow the actions you took when you were a student without a decent paycheck.
2. Earn Extra Money
When you were a student, you probably balanced going to school with working a part-time job during evenings and weekends. In other words, you balanced a full-time job being a student with an additional part-time job.
Now that you’re in the workforce, there’s no reason you can’t continue with it. Balance your full-time job with a supplemental part-time job, even if it’s only 5 to 10 hours per week. This can help you make huge progress towards your financial goals.
3. Focus on Your Career
Your 20s are a prime decade to focus on advancing your career. Give 110 percent of yourself while you’re at work and think carefully about career moves. Work at companies where you have a good chance of advancing up the ladder.
Seek to meet the right people who can create a strong network of opportunities for you.
It’s also okay to take a slight pay cut if it means getting to be in a position that has more room for growth.
4. Start a Retirement Account
Open a 401(k) or IRA account and contribute at least 15 percent of every paycheck into it. Your retirement account should be considered a need rather than a want. If you can’t do 15 percent, try 10. You should take this as seriously as you take other bills like rent or utilities. Your future self will thank you.
5. Prioritize Debt Repayment
By living like a broke student and earning extra on the side, you have an opportunity to repay your college debts or other debts.
Be aggressive without harming your retirement account. You will have to figure out the perfect balance between repaying debt, saving, and investing. While it might be easy to neglect one of these categories— they are all crucial to building your financial base.
Don’t hesitate to turn to your local Genisys Credit Union location for help. Our Representatives can sit down with you and help develop a tailored saving, investment and debt repayment plan to help establish those essential financial habits.
© Genisys Credit Union and www.genisyscu.org, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Genisys Credit Union and www.genisyscu.org with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.