Even though I have learned to be “good” with money, I do still struggle with the challenge of growing a savings. It can be challenging to have money in your account that you are not allowed to spend. However if you can master this in your twenties you will be setting yourself up for success not just now, but later in life as well!
The very first thing you HAVE to do in order to build a savings is to have a budget and keep to it! (If you want some ideas and help on yours you can take a look at mine here!) The first point goes into it a little bit but eventually I’ll be sharing a post that will help you to build your own personal budget as well! So without further ado, I’m going to give you Five Ways To Build A Savings In Your Twenties.
Five Ways To Build A Savings In Your Twenties
O N E // Live within your means.
So often I hear of people who start spending more money because they are making more money. While you may think that logic makes sense, it doesn’t, not when you don’t have any other money to count for, aka, a savings.
Living within your means even if you can “afford” not to, is one key to building a savings. When you get a raise, or a promotion, don’t start thinking of how you’ll use the extra money. If your budget works for you now, it will work for you just as good after the raise. There should be no need to change it. Use that extra money for your savings.
Even if you are not making that much to begin with, working minimum wage, or not getting enough hours, you should still never be using up all your paycheck. If you are doing that something needs to change, otherwise nothing ever will. You will be working just to live. There are multiple different ways to build a savings, like putting a dollar amount for every week out of the year, or putting a percentage out of your check every time. However in order for this to even work you have to first have a budget within your means!
T W O // Don’t spend your pennies.
I mean this in the literal and figurative sense. While pennies themselves can actually add up, what I mean by this is don’t spend your “change”. Your change can be anything from a five dollar bill to a twenty (depending on how high a roller you are!).
If you split a meal with a friend by you paying with your debit card and your friend paying you cash, don’t go and spend that cash on the next store you go into. It goes back into the bank, or your food fund. Just because it feels like it is extra money in your wallet doesn’t mean it is! Those little purchases are I would say 90% of where our money goes, for the simple misconception of thinking that it doesn’t really matter or, “It’s not that much money”. Trust me, it is. Save it.
T H R E E // Don’t value things, over your time.
While the next point I’m going to make in building your savings is to work, I will first point out that if you’re working just to afford your lifestyle, you’ve got it backwards. You don’t need the newest phone, that expensive shirt, or that really nice apartment you can’t really afford. By not putting a lot of value on these things, aka, not spending your money on them, you are guaranteed to not have as high of budget and therefore be able to save more.
Don’t value having the nice things or the newest phone over having time to yourself or your family. I understand the want to give your kids or even your spouse the best of everything. But let’s be real, the best of everything is you! By not buying a lot of things you’ll have money in the bank that gives you peace of mind and may eventually pay for a fun outing or let you take an extra vacation day. Value time and relationships over things and having the money to spend on them.
F O U R // Work, work and work a little more!
This might come as a surprise, but in order to build a savings of money you have to first have said money. If you really are struggling to make ends meet even with bringing down your budget to the bare minimum, there is still hope, but it’s going to take a lot of work.
It is so important to have a savings, an emergency fund, that you just can’t brush it off as not having time or the means to build one. There are tons of ways to get a little extra cash. There are gigs online that you can do as a one time thing and make a little extra cash. Websites like Fiver list opportunities or things people need done, where you can search for something that fits what you would be good at! You can sell things on Ebay. (You’d be amazed at some of the things that can make you some extra cash!) Or if you’re crafty, you can open up an Etsy shop and sell your items on there!
If you are really needing to buff up your savings and get your footing on your finances, you can always get an altogether second job. But I know that a lot of the times you don’t have that time between school or just wanting a life. But there are tons of ways to work a little harder and make a little extra dough. Even if it is just taking a few extra shifts. If you make a point to put all the money earned from those “extras” into savings you will get a huge jumpstart!
F I V E // Use cash.
I put this one last because although I believe it to be extremely effective, I don’t actually do it myself so I didn’t want to promote it like I did. Greg and I don’t really have a problem not over spending, (God blessed us by that) so using cash is more of a hassle than it is beneficial to us.
However, if you do have any sort of trouble sticking to a budget or keeping your hands out of that savings pot, make a point to use cash and only spend the money you have in your hands. When you set up your budget, take the money out of the account for each category, i.e. food, entertainment, etc. Use cash to pay for those budgeted items. Once the cash is done you know you are too. It is extremely effective if you keep to it and can help you to never dip into that savings fund you are working so hard to build!