When most of our parents were in their 20s, they were having us, buying houses, and working on their 401ks. Flash-forward a generation and now the 20s are considered a development phase. Even if you are figuring out what you're doing with your life, avoiding financial pitfalls can get you where you want to be much faster.
From managing your spending to paying all of your bills, here are the eight financial habits you need to form in your 20s.
1. Swiping your credit card like there is no tomorrow.
Plastic feels good in your hand and since you don't physically feel the money coming out of your wallet, it is easy to spend money fast. Avoid sinking into a debt hole by paying off your credit card purchases as soon as possible. The really expensive night out or the beautiful Italian leather shoes? Avoid using your card for impulse purchases and if you don't have the cash of fun purchases, then don't buy it just yet.
2. Defaulting on your student loans.
Hopefully, you're not drowning in college debt. Easiest way to mange your loans is by paying it regularly and not being late. You don't want your interest to snowball and interest fees add up quickly. If you're having a hard time paying the loans, look into refinancing your loans or a different payment plan.
3. Not paying your bills on time.
Pay your bills on time. There may be months were it's not going to happen but bills and necessary expenses come first. Then everything else.
4. Forgetting to create a retirement fund.
Oh, I'm not retiring for another forty years. "I'll worry about it later" is an easy attitude to have in your 20s, but preparing now can create an easy transition in the future.
5. Calling the parents for money.
Everyone needs a little help sometimes and it can be hard to make ends meet when you're on an entry-level salary. However, running to your parents every time you need help can create a bad habit. Figure out how to solve your problems so you can be equipped the bigger problems.
6. Not understanding the concept of a budget.
Uncontrolled spending money is one of the biggest problems when it comes to financial issues. Get a manageable budget for each month. Your budget can grew as your debt decreases and income increases.
7. Financial plan? What is that?
Once you get a budget down, you need a financial plan that includes long term saving, spending and investment goals. Put a little away every month or every paycheck. It's much easier to create a savings fund little by little that all at once in your 30s
8. Skipping insurance, since you're young and think you're invincible.
If you don't get sick as often, it's easy to skip insurance. But accidents happen and accidents can be expensive. Having insurance can help avoid significant debt. That's what insurance is for. While you're at it, get renter's insurance. It will cover fires, stolen items and cover replacement costs for things.