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You just graduated from college and have now joined the real-world workforce. Congratulations! Now you can really be the boss babe you are meant to be. 

At this point in your life, when you’re in your 20s, it’s easier to really prioritize spending for your business or career, and for the things you enjoy doing, like reading, traveling, hanging out with friends, and adventure trips. These are great ways to spend your money because why else will we work if not to enjoy life? 

There is one thing though that twenty-somethings fail to prioritize because they feel that they’re still too young. They fail to save and invest for their future. And by the time they start investing, rates are higher and it can be a struggle to keep up with those rates. 

Devising and starting an investment plan early is a great way to develop a safety net, plus you’ll get better returns by the time you retire. And there are a lot of advantages to investing early.

  • Your spending and saving habits will improve
  • You’ll be better prepared financially in case your finances become unstable 
  • You’ll be able to keep up with money inflation
  • Compounding returns will be to your advantage
  • Retirement will be less scary and can even happen earlier

What can you do now to start saving and investing early? 

  • Payoff your student loans and debts

Paying off your student loans and debts early helps you stay on top of your finances and helps you have more money later on. It’s so much better to have limited funds in your 20s to make way for more money in your 30s and 40s than to have more money now and struggle to pay off the loans, debts, and interest in the future. Paying off your debt now will also allow you to save more money that you can invest to have even greater returns!

  • Set savings goals. Set 5-10% of your income. Set Aside Money for Future Investments

Just as you sit down at the start of the year to set your new goals, set aside time to set your savings and money goals, too. Decide what amount you want to have by the end of the year. Then set aside 5 to 10% of your income. It’s always best to have automatic settings to transfer this amount to an untouchable account so you automatically save the money.  Once you get the hang of that, set aside a little more for future investments. 

  • Create a budget and track your spending. 

It’s always a good idea to start great money habits. Create a budget according to the amount of money coming in to your account. A good rule of thumb is to allot 70% of your income for your living expenses and debts, 20% to your savings, and 10% to your emergency fund. But if it’s not possible, have 10% automatically transferred from your main account to your savings account. And always track your spending so you know exactly how much money you have. Create a spreadsheet or use an app your phone to list down all the money you receive (from salary, gifts, winnings, bonuses, etc) and all the money you spent. It’s scary but necessary to create a healthy relationship with money. 

  • Set goals and make investments based on those goals. Research before you invest. 

If you want to start investing, do your research. Ask people you trust. Do a Google search. Join Facebook groups that focus on investing. Visit websites. Read the newspaper. Consult with brokers about your best options. Look also into investment life insurance, especially if you want low-risk options for now. 

  • Don’t keep up with the Joneses. Avoid debt as much as possible

While you’re in your 20s, avoid unnecessary debt as much as possible, which includes credit cards. If you must use it, think ten times before you need to use it. And when you’ve thought ten times, create a plan on how to pay it off without incurring too much interest. A lot of credit card debt is due to impulse spending. Cutting out the impulse spending at the onset will lead to better spending habits. 

Have you started investing? When did you start and how did you start? 

It’s always a good idea to practice better money habits as early as you can. Your friends might not understand your decision and your plan but it’s your life, boss babe. And you’ve got big dreams. You need to figure out the best way to live it, short-term and long-term.

Good luck!

Do you struggle to budget your monthly finances? Do you find the whole idea of budgeting stressful. challenging and too daunting?

Well if you feel all those, don’t fret because one you are not alone and two, there are a lot ways to make budgeting fun.

Most people think that budgeting is traditional and boring. For some, it means a nightmarish spreadsheet of all your fixed expenses and then making some arbitrary guesses on how much you “should”be spending on food, shopping, travel, etc. (Girlboss, 2017). 

It can be gruesome, yes and might entail some tedious work but believe it or not, good budgeting will help you a lot in the future. 

Why is budgeting important?

Before anything else, you have to consider the fact that proper budgeting can be a great first step toward financial stability and independence. A budget can also help you develop strategies to reach your short-term and long-term financial goals (Lynn, 2018) whether it’s about buying a new property, purchasing an existing business or investing into some mutual funds, etc. 

Aside from that, budgeting also prevents you from falling into serious debts. Most financial analysts believe that unexpected costs aren’t truly unexpected, believing that consumers know that unexpected expenditures will occur, but they simply don’t budget for them. Few people save for expenses such as birthdays, weddings, and even car repairs. They just aren’t thought of as budget-worthy expenses to most people (Lynn, 2018). By creating a well-plannedbudget schedule, you can prepare for almost any kind of unexpected expense.

So how do you make budgeting and finance planning fun and at the same time, successful? Here are some of the ways:

1. Go Tech and Use a Budget App

There are a number of good and user-friendly finance planning applications available for smart phones today. Most of them are free with some premium paid features. In general, these apps are very efficient because aside from helping you organize your funds in an orderly manner, they are also fully automated. The softwares can do quick calculations and keep record of income and expenses realtime.

2. Set your Goals

We all want financial freedom and that is basically the reason why we work our ass off and spend our entire day doing something that is profitable. The goal is to really be financially stable and even wealthy not just for ourselves but for the entire family. 

In budgeting, it is also very important to set inancial goals. What is your target savings by the end of the month? Do you need to pay off a credit card balance? How much can you spend for a new pair of shoes? 

Start by setting some goals for yourself; they don’t have to be big goals to start. In fact, it’s often better to set small, easily attainable goals so you can achieve them and get some quick wins under your belt (Lynn, 2018).

3. Make the Budgeting a Family Affair

You can let your parents or significant other know about your budgeting plans because they can help a lot in the motivation process. Aside from that, they can help you think of ways and alternatives in making the entire budgeting successful because they know you so well. 

4. Skip The Trend

Most of us, especially girls, tend to only buy things based only on what’s hot and trendy —which color got the most number of likes, which shade was worn by my favourite influencer, where to get the old groovy and baggy 90’s pants? 

Remember that the key to good budgeting is to only purchase whatever is necessary. So skip the trend and focus on your financial goals instead. 

5. Eliminate Distractions.

If you eliminate distractions, you will also eliminate the stress that goes with them! Wait until the kids are in bed before you start. Turn off the tv. Tidy up the area you’ll be budgeting in. Don’t leave reminders of unfinished tasks and projects around if you can help it (Lauren, 2017).

6. Treat Yourself Every Once in a While

Of course, cheat days are everywhere and when budgeting, things can very very stressful. Consider treating yourself every after accomplishment (can be a monthly thing) and learn to fill your cravings with the right food or the right relaxation, whichever is needed. 

However, take note that this could not be a frequent thing as creating and doing a budget isn’t easy and making a lot of extra expenses for unreasonable “treats”is not really acceptable. 

7. Change your Bad Thoughts about Money

Try changing your outlook on money through budgeting. You can make saving money a rewarding and satisfying task by prioritizing your spendings and accomplishing your goals. Look at money as a tool to help you achieve what you’ve always wanted instead of looking at money matters as a necessary evil that you must constantly wrestle (Lynn, 2018).

8. Plan an Early Entire Retirement

You probably have a bunch of questions now. Why do I need to plan ahead when I’m still this young? How could I spend a portion of my little savings/profit for that? Why do I even have to think of retirement this early?

It is true that retirement is like an end game but as the cliche goals, it is always best to plan things early. Think of the future. Learn to save some funds for future use. Seek professional help from financial experts especially when the money involved is of high value. 

9. Be Consistent. 

Make the budgeting task fun and consistent. Evaluate your budgeting performance and see how you can fair better next time. 

At the end of the day, remember that budgeting your money doesn’t have to be stressful. Learn to align your spendings with values, be creative and explore other options and see how everything will become different. Happy budgeting!