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Personal Finance Tips for Young Adults

Young adults have a great opportunity in getting started with their personal finances but also face challenges

As a young adult, it’s important to start off on the right foot when it comes to personal finance. If your family set a less than ideal example of money management, it’s time to start learning everything you can about good financial habits to secure a bright future.

Tackle Debt Early

Many college students find that it’s nearly impossible to land a degree without racking up a substantial amount of debt. College is expensive, and most families are unable to fund tuition and living expenses for their children. If you were not able to make it out of college unscathed from debt, it’s important to recognize that you’re not alone. Millions of young Americans are in the same boat, but not everyone will handle debt correctly. If possible, start making small payments while you’re still in school and don’t wait until the grace period has passed.

Learn to Cook

Young adults often struggle with money due to one big expense: eating out. During your college years and beyond, you might find yourself going out with friends several times per week. Even if you have a well-paying job, eating out with friends can make a substantial dent in your income. To quickly rein in finances and boost your savings account, learn how to cook and make every effort to eat at home most of the time. Cooking tutorial videos are easy to find on YouTube, so you’ll be able to see how recipes are made and replay as needed.

Start Investing Early

When you think of investing, you might think that it’s only for well-established people in their forties and above. However, investing can be a wise choice for people at any age. By beginning to invest in a 401(k) as early as possible, you’ll see much greater payoffs in the long run and you might even be able to enjoy an early retirement thanks to your foresight.

Find Deals on Insurance

Paying for car insurance while you’re young can make a serious impact on your monthly budget. If you believe that you’re paying too much for insurance, start looking around for other options. Dallas insurance agents might be able to help you find a much better deal on auto, home, or life insurance to help you save a significant amount of money each month. Once you’ve started saving on several insurance policies, you’ll be able to put the extra money towards saving, paying off debt, or investing.

Control Credit Card Spending

Signing up for a credit card with a high rate of rewards, like six percent back on groceries, can be a great way to improve your credit score and save money on essentials. However, many of these reward cards also come with a high APR. To stay out of debt and boost your credit score, make sure to only use the card for affordable monthly expenses like gasoline and groceries. While it’s often tempting to use the card to gain cash back on other purchases, it’s best to stick to necessary purchases that you can pay off in full each month.

Joseph Hogue, CFAAbout Joseph Hogue

An investment analyst by profession, I run two blogs (Crowd101 and PeerFinance101) in personal finance, peer lending and crowdfunding. I've been on both sides of the table as a lender and a borrower and am excited to be a part of the peer movement. With the power of the internet, people are helping other people manage debt and raise money in ways never before possible.

A veteran and Iowa-native, I now live in Colombia with my wife and son. Like so many people, I was once trapped into the money myth and what it means to be successful. After taking control of my finances and learning how to make money in a job I love, I found a level of financial freedom that just has to be shared.

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