So you’re in your twenties, and you’re thinking that your retirement is years away – and it is. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to start saving for your retirement until you’re 50. In fact, that is probably the worst idea that I’ve ever heard. Legitimately.
You pretty much should be saving as soon as you get your first job out of college, if not sooner. The more that you save now, the less that you have to save when you’re older and would appreciate the ability to spend more – and take care of your family!
You’re probably used to roommates already from college – but out of college, roommates have the added benefit of splitting rent – and utilities, and maybe groceries. If you don’t have friends that you want to live with, you can always take the dive and live with your parents after college.
Or you could live with your boyfriend (or girlfriend) and split costs that way – though you probably want to be quite sure of the relationship before you move in together, because you’ll both be tied to that lease for a year – usually.
This is more of a character thing, but many insurance companies target, young single people (especially males) with high insurance rates. While you may not be able to completely combat high insurance rates, if you’re a good driver, don’t get tickets or get into accidents, you’ll keep your insurance rates as low as you can so that you aren’t paying more than you need to.
This may be hard for some – but it is something that you should really be considering. As I said earlier in the article, if you aren’t saving now, you’ll be saving more later, and living may actually be more difficult because you’ll (probably) have a family to support.
Many companies will match contributions to your 401K. Take advantage of that, and contribute as much as you are able, or up to the highest percent that your company will match.
If you don’t have a 401K or can’t contribute that much a still have a livable wage, you’re still going to want to put away money every month, so that you have 3 to 6 months of your wage saved away – even if it takes a couple years to pull together, you’ll be grateful for it.
If you’re bad when it comes to budgeting or spending money, the best way to do this is to make the transfer to savings of a set amount per month automatic either with your paycheck or at the end of the month with all your other bills, that way in your head, you already don’t have that money to spend.
You know what living like a college student is like – keep living like a college student for a few years. It will help you save money without really realizing it, and it’s what you’re used to, coming out of college.
Don’t buy a lot of expensive gadgets or clothes just because “you can.” Be frugal about what you spend and where you spend it.
Having insurance does not go against the more frugal elements of this article. Think about it. If you don’t have car insurance and get into an accident, you’re going to be paying for everything yourself. If you end of going to the hospital because of that accident, you’ll have to pay all the hospital, ER and ambulance fees out of pocket (and the hospital is not cheap). Same goes for where you live – if you don’t have renter’s insurance and something happens, you aren’t going to get reimbursed for any of your stuff.
Spending a few hundred dollars a year (or an extra hundred a month in the case of car insurance) is very much worth it in the long run. We aren’t perfect, or invincible. So if something happens, wouldn’t you rather have help than be broke?
These are just a few ways to save money in your younger years, your salad days. What would you do? What do you wish you knew about money when you were in your twenties?
Regina Clark is a freelance writer who can answer the question “how much is full coverage car insurance?” or rather, knows a company that can tell you. If you are in your twenties, what do you do to save money?