Your 20s are a pivotal time in your life for many reasons.
You’ll graduate from college, get your first “real” job, face some new challenges, and do a lot of self-discovery.
While that’s a pretty packed list, don’t forget to add “financial security” as one of your top priorities.
3 Ways to Create Financial Security in Your 20s
Simply saving money isn’t a bad idea, but it’s not the best possible way to achieve financial security during your first decade out of college.
Instead, here are three far superior options.
1. Setting – and Sticking to – a Budget
If all you do is create a budget, you’ll find that life becomes a lot easier. A well-designed budget will keep you from living paycheck to paycheck and will even help you achieve a number of other goals, too (e.g. saving up for a car, etc.).
However, creating a budget isn’t enough all by itself. You also need to actually keep to that budget.
Consider creating one with a friend and then holding each other accountable. This will be much easier if you choose a friend you spend time with often, as they’ll be there to remind you of your commitment when you’re actually about to spend money you shouldn’t.
Be sure to go back and review your budget monthly, too. Have you been sticking to it? Should you update it?
2. Maxing Out 401(k)’s
One of the easiest ways to start fostering security in your 20s is to max out your 401(k). If your employer provides any kind of an employee-match program, then you should do everything possible to contribute as much as you can afford.
These programs literally provide you with free money. Your employer will put just as much toward your 401(k) as you do, so create plenty of room in that budget for big contributions.
3. Refinancing Student Loans
Speaking of large amounts of space in your budget, your student loan is probably one of your biggest monthly expenses. That’s why you should take every step possible to paying it down as soon as you can.
This will be much easier to do, though, if you refinance your student loan first.
Doing so could lower the total amount you owe or increase how long you have to pay it back. Either way, refinancing is an incredibly easy way to free up more room in your monthly budget, which you could easily put toward the aforementioned 401(k).
Don’t Take Financial Security for Granted
At the moment, it may seem very difficult to prioritize financial security, especially when you have so many other priorities vying for your attention.
Nonetheless, the sooner you achieve it, the sooner you’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing that, whatever the future may hold (e.g. losing your job, missing work because of an ailment, etc.), you’ll be financially ready.
Furthermore, once you accomplish the above, the hard work is over. You can mostly “coast” on good habits and start spending more and more of your money on the things you love.