Budgeting Tips For Your 20s

15 Apr

money- budgeting- tips- for- your- twenties- 20s

If you know me, then you know that I’m like absolutely beyond obsessed with saving money.

I mean, I can’t even go grocery shopping with my man-friend anymore because he’s the “just get what you need, I don’t care how much it costs” type…and I’m more like, “hey, I’m going to be here a while trying to figure out which pack of paper plates gives us the best value.”

LOL just writing that makes me feel ridiculous.

But that’s fine…because I’ve got more $$$ in my wallet. Success!

So today, my friend Ryan is talking about budgeting and I absolutely love it because, well…I’m a nerd like that. Enjoy!


Retirement seems like something so far off into the future that young people rarely even think about it. However, it’s something that people in their twenties should really prepare for financially–aside from medical emergencies, the possibility of starting a family, and/or buying a home for the first time. To save money and achieve any—or all—of these financial goals, here are a few  tips on budgeting for the smart twenty-something.

1. Learn to Differentiate Between “Wants” and  “Needs”

Budgeting requires learning to differentiate between wants and needs. The line that separates a need from a want can be blurrysometimes,but  you’re the only one who can make these decisions. Food, housing, and warmth, of course, fall under the needs category. Things like a fast broadband connection could be be considered a need too, especially if you work from home. But if you just use it for entertainment, then it’s probably a want, given that less expensive options are usually available.

Once you’ve created a list of things you’d want to spend on and need to spend on, then you can start creating a budget based on your income and how much those wants and needs cost. Prioritize your needs over your wants when you make your budget for those items, and don’t forget to set aside a portion of your money for your savings fund.

2. Use a Personal Finance App

Creating a budget isn’t even half the battle. The greatest challenge when it comes to managing your finances is actually sticking to one. There are lots of apps for your smartphone that can help you monitor your expenses so you can stay on top of your money. A quick search on your phone’s app store for personal finance apps will bring up a selection of budget trackers—many of which are free to download or usually pretty cheap. Apps like Mint help you monitor your checking and savings accounts and even help you keep an eye on your expenses which makes it easy to see if you’re still well within your budget at any given time. Other free apps include Toshl Finance and SavedPlus.

3. Review Your Expenses

What’s even cooler is that the personal finance apps mentioned above can often provide you with expense reports so it’ll be easy for you to check which areas you need to improve on.

If your expense report tells you you’ve achieved your budget goals, then congratulations! But don’t stop there! Periodically review your expenses and look at categories you spend the most on. You could be surprised at how much you’re spending on things that don’t seem very expensive but add up over time like impulse purchases and snacks at gas stations whenever you gas up. Reviewing your expenses also helps you find out whether your budget plan is still feasible. Prices of utilities and even your rent can change, so this can help you determine whether or not you need to adjust your budget to meet your current needs.

These are just a few budgeting tips that will hopefully help you out a bit. The earlier you learn to improve your budgeting skills, the better off you’ll be in the future when your financial goals change.

Ryan Del Villar is a Content Strategist for MoneyHero. Ryan is also a freelance writer at Helm Word, an Online Reputation Management company.

So tell me… what do YOU do to keep your finances in order?

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11 Responses to “Budgeting Tips For Your 20s”

  1. meredithwyatt1990 April 15, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    Reblogged this on Speak Through Your Heart and Your Mind Will Follow and commented:
    Very interesting read

  2. 10pointplan April 15, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

    I think setting reasonable goals is also essential to saving. It’s one thing to say “I want to have money for a new car,” but when you have a tangible goal to work toward–saving $5,000 as a down payment on a car or saving 6 months of my living expenses as an emergency fund–it’s easier to measure progress and be successful!

    • Ryan Del Villar April 15, 2014 at 11:20 pm #

      Thanks for your input. Yes indeed, you got to have something to look forward to in terms of saving money. Once you’ve achieved your goal, it will be easier to jump on to another.

  3. Sean Breslin April 15, 2014 at 5:56 pm #

    Great post. I swear by the Mint app…it’s so great for tracking everything – bills, savings, loans and expenses.

  4. J. Buitrago April 15, 2014 at 9:59 pm #

    Pay with cash. It forces you to use only the money available and not fake money you can’t see.

  5. ryandelvillar April 15, 2014 at 11:23 pm #

    Yes Ms. 10pointplan, having a tangible goal is indeed a good option. Having something to look forward to in terms of saving money gives you an inspiration to achieve your goals.

  6. somewonderland April 16, 2014 at 1:09 am #

    Good tips, only I remember myself 10 years ago when I was in my 20s, and then those money saving tips would not have worked for them. There was never money to waste in my family, so when I finally started to get my own paycheck, for a couple of years it was all about spending every cent I had, just because I finally could, and all my attempts at saving were just that – thoughts that I probably should not spend this much. It took me a while to learn a difference between my needs and just wants, but at least I’m on the right way now and I now have at least some money in savings :)

  7. The Maroon Colony April 17, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

    Great post Gen Y Girl! I love the tip about the personal finance app – it really does help!

  8. Apple (@pivobysala) October 21, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

    Cut your living costs to almost nothing:

    1) Buy food in bulk.. dry food.. frozen food.. whatever is cheap. It might not taste good, but it’s cheap and is a temporary solution until you pay off your debt.

    2) Cut all cable TV, internet, gym memberships, whatever else is a monthly expense that you don’t need.

    3) Cut transit costs. Drive a cheap car (or better yet, none at all). Use 4AutoInsuranceQuote for insurance ($25/month). Use GasBuddy for gas (save $100/month). If you have access to public transportation, sell your car and use it.

    4) Don’t get haircuts, manicures, your nails done, or whatever luxuries you indulge in until your debt is paid off.

    5) Try to spend $0 each day. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.

    Desperate times call for desperate measures.


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