In your 20s there are many competing things you are expected to do. They are supposed to be the best years of your life…

You are:
Getting an education.
Moving away from home.
Traveling the world.
Living every moment to the fullest.

All of this while simultaneously setting up a career and laying the foundations to settle down in your 30s.

The contradiction of getting everything done in a mere ten years on a starting salary is obvious to all 20 somethings who have felt these pressures. Unfortunately, trying to get everything done at once can often result in the development of bad money habits that set you up for an adulthood of debt and living pay check to pay check.

money 20 somethingSource

Here are three tips for money habits that, if mastered in your 20s, can set you up for life:

Not having savings is one of the worst mistakes you can make in your 20s. This is because being a successful saver is a habit that we either master or don’t early on. If you don’t get into the practice of saving each pay, then when you get a full-time job the temptation to blow it all and not leave anything for an emergency will be high. Get in to the habit of stashing away at least 10 per cent of your pay each month in a savings account so you have something to show for all your hard work and I promise, you won’t regret it.

  • Credit cards are not free money

Credit card debt is a massive issue affecting young people around the world that can leave you with growing debt well into your adulthood. Start thinking of money spent, and not paid back, on your card as money that you are taking from your future self. After all, nothing comes for free and it will all need to be paid back with interest in the end. If you can’t trust yourself with a credit card then the best thing to do is cut it up or give it to a trusted friend who will only hand it over in a certified emergency.

  • Set the right kind of financial goals

Keeping focus on a goal is a proven way to increase willingness to save. The best way to set a financial goal you are going to want to keep is to think about it in terms of the lifestyle you want to lead. For example, do you want to be able to drive to work or are you happy to catch a bus? If you would prefer to drive than saving for a car could become a financial goal. By choosing a goal that directly relates to the type of life you want to have the motivation for saving becomes easier to picture and your goal easier to stick to. It’s also important to realise how much it truly costs to run your home expenses so you know what you can save.

This post was contributed by:

Patricia Babalis, a personal finance writer for Australian financial comparison website