We all know that part of becoming an ‘adult’ is learning how to budget and keep afloat with finances. You don’t get taught how to budget in school so it’s pretty much trial and error through university and then hoping for the best once that’s done with. We all know that one person that blew all their student loan during Freshers don’t we? Well hopefully, they learnt how to budget pretty quickly. It’s sometimes difficult to prioritise and not just think ‘I’ll put it on the credit card’ or something similar. I’ve put some tips together on how to budget in your twenties. Making ends meet and making sure you’re still enjoying yourself along the way. I’m certainly no afficianado when it comes to money but these are things that have helped me.
Look At Your Expenses
Yes, the boring things, the essentials. You need to make sure that your rent, bills and Direct Debits take priority because if you miss these, there’s usually a financial consequence. If you’re new to a job, depending on where you live, rent can really vary. It’s important to think about how much you want to spend. For example, in Manchester, I paid close to £800 for a big, city centre flat with bills for my half with another housemate. Council tax can bite you if you don’t check what it is first! Living in Chester is half that and I imagine London is probably double what I paid in Manchester. Just take the important things into consideration when you’re budgeting your wage against accommodation and bills that you have to pay.
I have an internet savings account that’s linked to my usual current account. I’ll always try and put a bit extra than I think I can afford each month into it. I’ll set myself an absolute minimum to save that I won’t move but anything extra, I can use at the end of the month if I’m getting a bit short. Even if you can only save £50 per month, it’s better than nothing. You never know if you’ll have an unexpected expense come up.
I’ve recently just got a car on finance so I had to think really carefully about what I could and couldn’t afford. With something like a vehicle, it’s not just the cost price. You need to remember insurance, tax, fuel and any maintenance costs. When it comes to other items like holidays, double check what it includes. Does it need to be paid upfront or is it in instalments? If you’re taking away all your expenses from your earnings then budgeting for a holiday, don’t spend your wage down to £0. You’ll always have spontaneous outings or meals so make sure you have a bit of extra cash to play with.
Don’t Spend Your Paycheck Before Payday
I’m really guilty of this sometimes, I’ll always think of things I want to buy next month and before I know it, I’ve only got a tenner left before I’ve even been paid. This can be quite hard not to do when you get your first ‘grown-up’ job but you get used to it. Make sure you prioritise and if you have a little left over at the end of the month, treat yourself. Like I’ve already said, don’t budget so much that you have £0 left, always have a little extra for unplanned things.
I hope this has helped a little! I’m certainly no money expert but this is what I do to manage my finances. It can be scary when you first finish your education and start earning a full time wage. I think you either have more money than you’ve had before or you completely over spend and go a little nuts. You can only learn from mistakes so don’t worry about it too much!