Your 20s are the decade of change. You finish up college and move into the working world, owing on your student loans, all the while maturing and growing in personality. You have the belief you are invincible: you are young and so is the world that you are going to conquer.
The thing is, your 20s are also a time for being sensible. Your teenage and college years were the ones for heady decisions and stupid mistakes and frivolity, and while you can still be frivolous throughout your life you need to make some changes. Budgeting isn’t a word associated with fun (unless you love it!) but it’s something we all have to do when we have a real-world job to move into. You have to budget your home and your bills as an everyday job, but what about those big-ticket dream items that everyone wants? What expenses should you be thinking about and saving for right now?
A Car. You may already have a car, but that little banger on its last legs that got you from campus to home is tired. You need a grown-up car now, and if you are planning to have a family you need a sensible one. Imagine waking up tomorrow and needing to replace the car that you have due to breakdown that is not recoverable? Part of your budget should cover savings for a new car you can buy outright.
A House. Probably the biggest purchase that you can buy in your life, the down payment that you need for a house is going to be huge, and so you should make room in your monthly budget to save for a deposit. Living at home can make this easier, as you have a bit more of an income to play with. A house is a goal that many strive for, make it one of your priorities.
A Ring. Being in a relationship in your 20s inevitably raises the question of where it is going. Even if the person you are with right now isn’t the person you plan to marry, you should still make a provision for a ring with 77 Diamonds. You could meet your soulmate and not even realise until you want to propose and it’s far easier to plan spontaneity when you have a savings account full and ready.
A Loan. Your student loans are going to be looming after college. Hopefully you were sensible enough to save up during college to start paying those off, but if not, you should think about adding chunks of cash to your student loan debt early on. The faster you pay it, the better your credit.
A Vacation. You’ve entered the real world and you have a paying job that gives you a good income. It’s time to start saving for that dream vacation you’ve been picturing while living on Ramen noodles and water.
Your 20s are a time for growth and change, and you now have the income to allow for that growth. Make the most of it and be excellent.