When you’re young, saving money can seem impossible. It’s easy to live paycheck to paycheck without thinking about the future, but taking control of your finances now can help you build a strong foundation later on. These simple financial tips can lead young adults down the path of financial success.
Create a budget
According to a recent Gallup poll, less than one-third of Americans maintain a household budget. Budgeting can help you work toward long-term financial goals—like paying off student loans—and will make it easier to track your spending.
To budget, download an app like Mint or You Need a Budget. Online budgeting tools collect information from your debit and savings accounts to create an overview of where your money is going. You can then create categories to track your spending for groceries, bills, etc.
Don’t wait to save
If you’re still living with your parents, it might seem pointless to save now. But putting away a set portion of your paycheck every week can build up quickly. Create a category in your budget to determine how much you can afford to save every week.
U.S. News recommends saving one-third of your income to create a buffer for emergency expenses, like car repairs and medical bills. To make saving easier, open a savings account and opt to direct deposit a portion of your paycheck every week.
Review your health insurance options
If you’re covered under a parent’s employer-based health insurance plan, review the terms of your coverage. Some plans provide coverage for beneficiaries until age 26, while other plans require proof of enrollment for beneficiaries to maintain coverage. Knowing when your coverage ends under your parent’s plan can help you prepare to purchase your own coverage in the future.
If you’re not covered, consider investing in a health insurance short term plan. Short-term health insurance plans offer broad networks and have no open enrollment restrictions, so you can apply anytime and won’t have to worry about switching doctors. To find out more about short-term coverage, visit Agile Health Insurance.
Refinance your loans
Interest from student loans, credit card debt, and car loans can add up fast. Refinancing your loans can lower your interest rate, which means you’ll save money and pay off your loan faster. Before refinancing your loans, decide whether you want a fixed-rate or variable-rate loan. While fixed-rate loans lock in a fixed interest rate for the term of the loan, interest rates for variable-rate loans vary based on the market.
Next, shop around to find the lowest interest rates. Loans.com.au offers quick and easy online loan applications to help you secure the lowest car finance rates. Plus, they offer fixed-rate loans, so you’ll have peace of mind knowing how much your payments are every month.
Stop impulse spending
If you’re lucky, you learned self-control from your parents when you were a kid. If not, remember that the sooner you learn self-control, the sooner you’ll be able to control your finances. Although it may be effortless and gratifying to swipe your credit card for a latte at Starbucks or a new pair of jeans, it’s better to wait until you actually have the money.
If you tend to put all your purchases on credit cards, you risk accumulating credit card debt. If you’re using your credit card for convenience or rewards, always pay your balance in full when the bill arrives.
You don’t need a college degree or a special background to manage your finances. By following these five simple financial tips as a young adult, you’ll be able to save for the future and become financially independent.