If you haven't already guessed it, money slips away much easier than it used to in college. Your part-time job used to see you through eating out, going to bars, and buying new clothes galore. However, once you enter the workforce, all those leisurely spending habits need to come to an abrupt halt. Miss Independent, you've got bigger bills to pay! I remember laughing at my older sister, who was living paycheck to paycheck in her early 20s, but now I completely understand. Here are a few financial habits I wish someone had told me to implement after I graduated college. See my financial tips.
- Be ultra frugal – Seriously, no matter how much free cash you think you have to splurge after you've paid off the big bills, you're probably forgetting about a sneaky cable bill that you will still have to pay later in the month. It's no fun to end up with an overdraft fee, especially if you are hours away from being paid again. Using Mint can seriously help manage your finances and help you stick to your budget.
- Stop wasting money – What are you wasting your money on? Is it a new album on iTunes that you won't listen to or your morning cup of joe that you could make at home? The little things really do add up, so unless it's essential, try to avoid the urge.
- Make the most of everything – Suddenly, stuff like a sweater with a little pilling or a super-spotty banana doesn't give you grounds to throw these things away. By throwing out less, you will force yourself to make use of what you already have and save some major bucks.
- Go out on a budget – You can still go out on the weekends, but be sure that whatever you do spend on the weekend doesn't force you to live off of goldfish until the next paycheck comes in.
- Set goals for financial independence – Becoming financially independent isn't as scary as you think it will be, but there will be moments of discomfort. But don't worry, every 20-something has to go through the growing pains of financial independence. With hard work, persistence, and proper planning, you'll become financially freer.
Everyone needs a little help from their friends, so tell us in the comments what financial habits you wish you had created as a 20-something entering the workforce.