March 4, 2016

Twentysomethings Guide: Money Management

Every girl in her twenties has spent a majority of her childhood daydreaming about what her life will be like when she is an adult. Most of those daydreams revolve around a gorgeous apartment, a closet filled with clothing that any fashion obsessed woman would lust after, a makeup collection that would rival Sephora, and a social life that was filled with glamorous parties and nights on the town. Sounds great, right? Well, unfortunately for most of us, those dreams are going to stay dreams. 

I've been a hard worker all of my life. I started babysitting for local families when I was 14, worked throughout high school and college, and was lucky enough to get a job right after college. I work tirelessly at everything I choose to do, and I'm proud of that. My wallet, however, has never quite reflected that hard work. Like most people my age, it can be hard to earn and keep money. Students loans and other debt are like the evil dragons waiting to burn your dream apartment down. Most of my money each month goes toward my loan payments, so I have had to become a bit creative with my money.

Now, when I say creative I am not talking illegal here, people. Don't do that. Don't even think about it. Prison orange is not a cute color. What I am talking about is money management. Both of my parents are money smart people, and they have taught me the ways of saving a dollar. I had a friends recently ask me why we weren't ever taught about financial planning in high school or college. GOOD FREAKING QUESTION! You would think that something as important as managing money would be taught in schools, but you would think wrong. I've compiled a list of my go-to techniques in the hopes that it might help you all save a bit of money, get money smart, and even find a deal.

Keep Track of Yo Money!
No, you are not a successful rapper that can throw money around like it is no big deal. You work hard each day for your money, and you should always know where it is going. I like to keep two accounts; my savings account, where I keep money for my loans and other debts, and my checking account, where I keep my daily spending money. I follow both accounts online through my bank's website (how very 21st century of them), and always make sure to check daily in order to ensure that no one has stolen my card information. I even keep track of my checking account balance on my phone so that I always know how much money I have to spend when I am out. 

Do You Really Need That?
I am about to annoy the crap out of you, but you need to hear it. You do not need to purchase every new makeup collection that hits the market, and you do not need that gold encrusted toilet seat cover. You just don't. I've become more practically recently since I've been paying for things myself, and man does it suck. I like luxury as much as the next girl, but my wallet hates me for it. I ask myself each time I go show, "Do I really need this?"

It is time that we all start 'adulting'. Adulting means that I can't visit Starbucks each morning before work. It also means that I can't drop astronomical amounts of money at Sephora just because I feel like it. Maybe one day I will be able to, but right now it just isn't in the cards. I do, however, like to spoil myself once a month. I treat myself a a new top that I have been eyeing, a meal at a restaurant I like, or an evening out with friends from work. Treat yo self girl! Just not every day.

Let's Talk About Change Baby...
I am an old lady that keeps a change jar. You would not believe how much change can accumulate over the course of a year. My sister and I have been saving change yearly since we were little. We would cash in the change right before a big vacation in order to have some spending money. I have recently started up doing this again, and I cannot wait to see how much I have this time next year. It could easily pay for my gas one day, or pay for a new pair of shoes. All because I did something simple like saving my change.

Save Money While You Shop
I'm a shopper. I cannot tell a lie, and I refuse to stop. Why not find ways to save money while I feed my habit? I'm a huge fan of sites like Ebates (use my link to sign up), that gives you money back whenever you shop online through their website. I earned almost $30 back just over the Christmas period with my gift purchases. That is $30 back in my wallet that I never would have had otherwise.

There is no shame in my game, I coupon. I know, people usually associate couponers with older housewives looking to save a buck, but I have found the whole thing a bit exciting. Free money is free money. You can easily find coupons in your Sunday paper for household items, grocery items, and beauty products. I take 5 minutes each Sunday to scan the paper, clip out the ones I use, and that's it! I also like coupon apps like Target's Cartwheel. It gives you instore coupons that can be scanned over the phone within the app. There are money saving techniques everywhere. It will definitely be worth the time.

What are your money management go-tos? Share below!

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