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5 Ways to Budget in Your 20s

 Tuesday, December 4    CCCU
5 Ways to Budget in Your 20s

5 Easy Ways to Budget in Your 20s


You can start the steps toward financial health by making a simple budget that reflects your lifestyle. Building credit, saving money, paying off debt, and more are all elements of a successful budget plan. This will help you get started and then you can continue to improve your financial health over time while still enjoying the lifestyle you love.

Whether the word budget makes you feel anxious or excited, knowing how to keep track of your money, especially in your 20s, is a crucial step to financial literacy. It’s easy to feel like you’ll be weighed down by spreadsheets and time-consuming management. However, budgeting is simply knowing where your money is going and planning ahead.
 

How to manage money in your 20s
 

In this piece, we share steps on how to make a simple budget using a foolproof formula. We also share five ways to achieve optimal financial health, including how to keep yourself accountable.
 

Manage spending


Managing your spending is the first step. Start by building out an easy budget. You can use our accompanying mini graphic as a rough guideline. By categorizing and understanding where your money is going, you’ll be able to determine where you can make improvements and what’s unavoidable.

For instance, if you live in a place with a high cost of living, you may not be able to reduce expenses. However, you could try to make lifestyle shifts that help you mitigate spending, like biking to work or bringing lunches.

Managing spending can feel challenging and forming new healthy financial habits takes time. Exceptions are okay, but when they happen more than once or twice a month, it’s time to reevaluate. Don’t beat yourself up if you make mistakes! Take the time to understand why they happened and how you can be successful next time. Know that it will take time for you to build up new habits and adjust to the change.

Into the latest tech and want to avoid spreadsheets? There are some wonderful personal budgeting apps you can take advantage of to more easily manage your finances. One of our favorites is YNAB (You Need a Budget). This app helps you create a budget based on your income instead of designating funds into specific categories. This is a quick way to start managing your money.There are a variety of personal budgeting apps that can help you manage your finances, like YNAB (You Need a Budget).

Save money when you can


Not everyone is able to save money depending on their financial commitments and situations. If it is at all possible, saving money and paying off debt is a crucial step to achieving financial stability. Building an emergency fund is a great way to start. Working towards having 3-6 months of living expenses will help you feel secure.

If you have to use some of the money to pay for unexpected things while you’re saving, don’t get discouraged. Just do your best every month, and try to stick to your budget. If you can’t save right now, it’s important that you make a plan for how you can get to that point as soon as possible. Saving while you’re young is what will set you up for financial stability later in life.

For those who are struggling with debt and just aren’t able to sock funds away, consider debt consolidation. If you’re committed to paying off your debts, it’s a great path to take. Our members take advantage of our low APR Visa cards that also offer zero balance transfer fees.

 

Start investing early


While you’re young, investing means you’ll reap the benefits early on. With the power of compound interest, you can make huge gains. Your retirement accounts will also have a greater impact, as you’ll be giving your money more time to grow. If your employer makes matching contributions, you should be participating to the fullest extent you can. When you don’t, you’re leaving free money on the table.

Just like budgeting, investing can seem daunting at first. Financial advisors are a great resource no matter where you are on your financial wellness journey. At CCCU, we offer our members a variety of financial support options, including investment advice and wealth management services through registered advisors and brokers.

Even if you don’t plan on making a large purchase, credit cards can also help you get perks that save you money.
Build your credit
 

Credit isn’t just about what you can buy. It’s the key to almost every major purchase we make. From auto loans to apartments, building your credit will get you better rates and help you throughout life.
Even if you don’t plan on making a large purchase, credit cards can also help you get perks that save you money. Just remember: never spend above your means, even on a credit card. Treating your credit card like a debit card and paying it off in full is what will help you build that credit, as well as keep you out of hot water.


Prioritize accountability
 

Finding a buddy, whether it’s a partner, roommate, or parent, can help you stay accountable to your goals. Even if you don’t share your budget numbers with them, checking in regularly about money keeps you on track. Stay in touch and troubleshoot if there’s an area that you’re struggling with.

Budget plans don’t have to be complicated. Keep things simple and remember that it takes time to get into good financial habits. Give yourself space to learn and don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether it’s from someone you know or a financial advisor. It’s never too early to start planning for the future.
 

Manage your money with savings accounts and more at CCCU

 

Ready to embrace a budgeting plan and want to get started off on the right foot? Our Oregon credit union is here to assist you. We offer a variety of personal savings options, which include accounts with automatic payroll deposits as well as competitive dividend rates. In addition, you can open a traditional or Roth IRA with CCCU, take advantage of low-interest Visa credit cards with airline miles and other benefits, and much more. Learn more about our offerings.

Want to get started? Becoming a member is simple!  Join our credit union today, or contact us for more information.


You’ll love how easy it is to bank with CCCU


Talk about convenience! We have three branches in Portland, one in Hood River, as well as uncomplicated mobile banking. What’s more, our members have access to 5,600+ CO-OP Shared Branches and over 30,000 surcharge-free CO-OP ATMs nationwide.

We serve members who live, work, worship, own a business, or attend school in Multnomah, Clark, Washington, Hood River, Clackamas, Yamhill, Columbia, and Skamania counties, or are a relative of a current member.
 


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