Your twenties are all about being able to spend impulsively, recklessly—on expensive dinners, parties and out of town trips. It’s about being able to get the latest gadgets on the market or the newest, coolest cars out there. At least, this is how most of us would want to spend our twenties.
I don’t know about you, but in my experience, this wasn’t how I lived through mine. Not because I didn’t have money to spend—I did. But because I’ve always lived by the advice of grandmom and grandpop.
They’ve always been keen to remind me that before I ever reach thirty, I had to have a solid nest egg set aside. That saving was important and that, while it was fun to have a new pair of shoes or dine out at the best restaurants in town, it wasn’t at all important. Having money set aside for when I needed it was better.
Here are six of the best tried-and-tested money tips I got from my grandparents. I hope these help you build your own savings too:
1. Prioritize saving everyday
My grandpop always said, the healthy way to spend money was to set aside money for savings as soon as I receive my pay. So, try to put by at least 10% of your income every 15th and 30th. After that, you’re free to spend what’s left—pay your bills, spend money on other day-to-day essentials. This will save you from worrying when an emergency suddenly pops up, and you need some extra cash to get the situation resolved. This way, you won’t have to apply for loans that ask for high interest rates just to get your hands on cash you need.
2. Stick to your budget
If you always find yourself broke or break even each payday period, you might want to try creating a budget and sticking to it to ensure you won’t have any shortage of funds by the end of each month. My grandmom always reminded me to create a reasonable budget so I wouldn’t have a hard time sticking to it and so should you. Follow your budget strictly so you could enjoy better financial security later on.
3. Resist the urge to purchase the latest gadgets
The temptation of a new electronic device or gadget can be hard to resist for twenty-something’s, who are pressured to purchase new cell phones by TV ads they see every day, mostly endorsed by their favorite celebrities, along with their colleagues and friends who are always upgrading to a new phone at least once a year. This didn’t happen to me though. All the endorsement I ever needed, I got on my own—I researched them online. You can do the same. Also, I wasn’t as attracted to the idea of throwing my old phone for a new just because it was old. Well, my grandparents raised me to know better than to waste money on these things. Plus, if it ain’t broke, there was no need to replace it. I grew up believing that and I still do.
So, resist joining the band wagon and remind yourself it’s more important to have money set aside for those times when you need it. Be content with your cell phone, and ignore the urge to get a brand new one should you happen to have some extra shekels on you.
4. Turn of the lights/appliances after use
Try not to cultivate the habit of leaving electronics open when not in use. This applies not just to the lights, but also to air conditioners, electric fans, flat irons, curling irons, hair dryers, cellphone chargers, as well as to desktops and laptop computers, TV, radio and other appliances. My grandpop always turned off the lights in our house whenever we forgot to. It may not seem like a big deal but leaving the lights or your computer on can add substantially to your electric bill by the end of the month. Save not just the electricity but also the environment by remembering to turn off electronics if you leave the room and move on to another task.
5. Monitor your spending
If you’re constantly wondering where all your money is going, then it’s high time you start monitoring your expenses daily, weekly, and monthly. When I was nineteen, my grandmom was horrified to find out I didn’t keep track of my money—at all. Well, after that, she made me realize how important it was for me to know where my shekels were coming from and spent on. If you find it hard to keep track too, then just start by keeping all your receipts for all purchases and by checking your monthly credit card and debit card account statements of bills. Try to download one of many free apps for tracking daily expenses offered to Android and IOS smart phones, too. These apps will convert your spending to a graph where you can have a more visual representation of where a bigger portion of your income goes every month, which is handy measure that allows you to track your spending with ease.
6. Use your credit card wisely
Another way to boost savings in your twenties is to learn the art of using your credit card wisely. This is a lesson my grandparents never failed to remind me of. That it was always better to use my credit card only on items that I could afford and that won’t mess up my budget for that week or month. Paying on time every month and paying more than the minimum balance the credit card issuer requires so there won’t be additional credit card charges—like late payment charges, below minimum payment charges, cash advance charges, international transaction charges, along with many other forms of charges—was preferable.
I kept all these money saving tips in mind as I went through my twenties, and by the time I reached my thirties, I was already secure in the knowledge that I’ve managed to increase my savings responsibly just like a mature adult should—and done right by my grandparents financially, in the process.
And you could do. Really, wouldn’t it feel extra wonderful if you could buy most of anything you wanted without having to apply for a loan or pay high interest rates—all because you’ve already saved in advance? So, get smart about money. Follow all of these money saving tips—or you could add your own, especially if you’ve your own grandparents teaching you how to be wise about money—and start saving for your future today.
Today’s guest post is by Mark Yasay. He is a social media enthusiast and a writer for MoneyMax, the Philippines most comprehensive online platform for comparing financial and telecom products. MoneyMax aims to consistently find the best broadband plans, credit cards, loans, and other services and products that suit your needs.