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Financial Habits to Start After College

Financial Habits For 20-Somethings Entering the Workforce

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Stop wasting moneyWhat 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Set goals for financial independenceBecoming 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.

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chloeismylove chloeismylove 4 years
Selling/trading clothes on Ebay is a great way to get a new wardrobe or get cash. I sell stuff all the time. I get really great clothes that I could never afford otherwise. Don't get freaked out by the fact that it is "used." Most of the things I get are only lightly worn or sometimes brand spanking new with tags still attached.
angelicaporter angelicaporter 4 years
There is a broken link on the 5th tip.... I was wanting to see that one. --->missing the r in href
1296156 1296156 4 years
I use mint and I love it, the first time I set up my account it was a serious reality check when I realized how much money I was spending on take-out!
Anna-Monette-Roberts Anna-Monette-Roberts 4 years
Hi Jdawnl, Each point has a link to another savvy story that will give you more specifics! Hope that helps.
ChrissyLee ChrissyLee 4 years
I found the best way to set a budget was to subtract bills from my monthly take home and then make sure that at least one paycheck(i tried to do 2) could go to savings, then the rest you can spend. That way if you ever need a little cushion you have one there. It took me a little while to figure this out on my own, I wish someone had taught me the importance of saving earlier!
dawntodusk dawntodusk 4 years
great post but wish there were more specifics to help me out!
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