By Jordan Brown, CBS 62/CW50 Intern
The 20’s are an exciting, but weird age for many. It’s the time where you are considered an adult, but aren’t even close to having it all together. By 25, you may still be in college, or just graduating, working a job (or two) that pays little to nothing and you are up to your ears in debt with absolutely no savings.
It’s stressful and can be hard to dig yourself out of that hole. But have no fear, these 5 simple steps will help you to fall onto the right track with saving and spending your money the right way.
- Start a savings account– Thankfully, saving is the hardest part. If you can discipline yourself enough to save what little money you have, the rest will be simple! Start off with saving 10% of each paycheck. Put the money in a separate account, under the mattress, or give it to your mom. But no matter what, DON’T TOUCH IT. There is no point in saving if you dip into it every few months. If you can start by saving 10% of each paycheck, you will start to build savings that will only grow over time. The younger you start, the more money you will have when you’re older.
- Money saving apps- Money saving apps will become your best friend. There are tons of coupon apps, cashback apps, and price comparison apps. The list goes on! These apps actually work and they will help you save money. One good example is the Walmart Savings Catcher™ app. For every item that you purchase at Walmart, this app will compare the prices of those items at surrounding stores to make sure that you got the lowest price. For example, if you buy milk at Walmart for 2.99 and its 1.99 at the Meijer down the street, Walmart will give you the difference in the form of a gift card that you can spend at Walmart. The gift cards never expire and you can accumulate as much money as you want on them. This app along with others are FREE! Find one or a few and start saving.
- Limit your entertainment– If you’re, young, you’re probably spending a lot more on entertainment than you think. Entertainment includes movies, eating out, club or party admission, booze. You get it. Those activities can be inexpensive at the moment. If you’re doing that every weekend, those “cheap” activities can add up. If you add up how much you spend on eating out alone, you’d be surprised at the number. Set an entertainment budget at the beginning of the month and stick to that.
- Keep track of what you’re spending– If you have a spending problem, try keeping a list of your spending habits. It will allow you to see where all your money goes, and you can adjust how you spend it. Budgeting is key to money management.
- Establish some credit– Look up SECURED CREDIT CARD. Almost anyone can get approved for . Most of them report to major credit bureaus and you only spend what you can afford. If you can manage this card well for a few months or a year, you will raise your credit score and be eligible to apply for credit cards with lower interest rates and higher limits.
It’s not going to be easy, but taking these baby steps can set you up for financial success in the future!
Jordan Brown is a senior at Eastern Michigan University majoring in Electronic Media and Film Studies with a minor in Communication. Jordan enjoys historical documentaries and hopes to go into news broadcasting. She enjoys reading, writing, and consumes way more chocolate than she should.