finance

5 money rules to live by in your 20s to help you get ahead.

It’s sooooooooooooo funny isn’t it, when you’re in your late teens and early twenties and you’re trying to pump exactly $6.27 into your car, because that’s all you have left until pay day.

Ha ha, broke again.

But as you progress into your mid-twenties, it’s not so funny anymore.

Ha ha, no money to buy lunch today

Ha ha, might need to have a few drinks at my house tonight instead of going out…

Your money situation will improve when you take steps to improve it. They don’t even have to be big steps, you just have to start them early while you are still in your twenties and instead of an unsustainable pledge to never spend another unnecessary cent again, make a few small, manageable, consistent changes.

Your thirties will thank you.

Money writer Anna Bahney from .Mic has come up with 5 simple ways to save money which “will seriously pay off by the time you’re 30”.

1. ‘Uber needs to be used as a treat.’

Firstly, she says Uber needs to be used “as a treat”. I know, I know, Uber is so affordable and convenient and fun with their refreshing bottled water and their charming individually-wrapped Mentos. But every trip adds up and that’s all money you could be putting towards something else. And that goes for taxis too.

“Plan ahead and decide how much you can spend monthly, weekly, and daily,” Bahney writes. “That way you won’t be throwing money away on cabs when the train or a carpooling friend will get you to your destination just fine.”

Repeat after me. "Uber is a treat." Image: iStock

2. 'Develop your "gigable" skills.'

Bahney says you need to start putting all of your skills to work, not just the ones you are/have studied for. Think of making use of your English skills or mechanical skills. Maybe you're good at fixing computers.

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It's these skills that will give you a way to earn extra money when you get into trouble or just so you can save more towards your future.

I was once a wedding MC - strange but true - during my fledgling early radio days. During other darker moments you could find me "spruiking" outside the front of a butcher at your local shops.

Maybe you have a way with dogs and enjoy spending time caring for them. We all have something.

3. 'Invest in yourself.'

Invest in yourself doesn't mean forking out hundreds or thousands of dollars on courses claiming they can "up-skill" you. It means you should start looking into investing money, even in a standard savings account.

Even if it's just $10 a week.

It all adds up, particularly if you start early and by doing that for ten years you'll have some money with which to build your future.

You might even use this money to save for your retirement.

"By investing money beginning at the age of 22, you could end up with nearly $1 million more for retirement than if you started at 30," Bahney writes. "Because of the powerful effect of compounding returns, your money will grow faster the sooner you put it in an investment account."

LISTEN: Author and activist Tara Moss on setting goals and working smarter. Article continues...

4. 'Protect your credit rating.'

Every time you run late paying a bill or fail to pay it at all, you end up affecting your credit score which can affect your ability to borrow money decades later, even when it comes to buying a house.

In Australia you can check your credit score for free through Veda and their website also has lots of tips and tricks for improving or retaining your credit score, regardless of the results.

For now try and make a budget so you pay all of your bills on time, particularly major bills like loan and credit car repayments as well as utilities through major companies.

5. 'Talk about money.'

It's important to make sure your loved ones are on board with your money moves, so none of them lead you astray. Particularly if you are in a serious relationship that you intend to be in for years to come, sitting down and figuring out how best to save for your future can never come to early once you've committed to one another.

Bahney says it's about being open and honest.

"And yet, having regular discussions about money can help you be honest with your partner about financial realities that involve them. If you start communicating about money with your boo before you get married, you'll end up in a better position to grow richer together as a unit."

Read Anna Bahney's full article 5 simple financial rules to live by in your 20s - so you're not broke in your 30s at .Mic here.

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