Ready to learn how to save money effortlessly? As a single parent and college student, I mastered the art of being broke. No matter how hard I tried I never could get out of the constant circle of being broke. When you don’t have a good understanding of money you can never properly manage it. Education and budgeting tools are key to changing your money habits. So, today I am going to help you learn how to save money in your 20s even when you’re broke.
5 Savings Goals to Reach in Your 20s
Here is a list of ways to save money fast in your 20s.
1. Stay Disciplined
Discipline is key! Learn how to tell yourself and others NO! To accomplish this I mastered the art of pretending to be broke even when I had the money. If I did not feel that the cause was worth the money then I did not do it.
“No, I can’t give you a ride”
“ No, I can’t go out this weekend”
“ No, we can’t go on Vacation”
“No, I shouldn’t buy those new shoes”
“No honey, you don’t need another My Little Pony Toy”
See! It’s easy once you get the hang of it. If it is not in my budget I try really hard to say no to it. I believe in having a plan to reduce stress and accomplish goals more effectively. A budget is a key to keeping things in perspective. There were months when we were unsure how to pay everything or to get caught up on past due bills. I began to sit down and list out all my bills.
This has progressed into a very detailed Excel Spreadsheet and has caused me to become obsessed with learning more about my finances. I encourage you to get more focused on your finances for long-term benefits and monitor where every dime is going. I personally use and recommend tracking all your saving goals using Acorns and it’s completely free if you’re a student.
2. Establish the Habit of Saving Money
Saving is something we all NEED to do. It is imperative that we find ways to intentionally save but be aware that you shouldn’t take away from your necessities to do it. Don’t sacrifice your rent money for your savings. If you are broke like I was you have what Dave Ramsey calls and income issue, not a savings issue. You should increase your income by doing side hustles or jobs to gain income beyond what you need for your bills.
One way I was able to save without too much damage to my income was by using the Digit app and putting my savings on autopilot. Digit systematically took small amounts of cash from my bank account and stored it in a digital account for me. I loved this except when I literally planned every dime and then Digit took some. But it’s readily available to get your money within 24 hours. I have autosave on my bank account now.
I automatically move a certain amount of my paycheck into my savings before it gets to me. It’s set up to come out on payday at 8 AM. I then manage my bills with whatever is left. Do not do these options if you cannot afford your monthly bills. Fix your income issue first and then you can try to save small amounts.
The easiest way to start saving is by just putting small amounts into a jar or savings account daily. Pocket change is always around and easily available.
3. Increase Income/Side Hustles
Side hustles are the best ways to fix your income issues. The broke life is not the best life. Find ways to cut back on expenses and then go seek out ways you can make extra money. Here is a list of some of the side hustles I have done:
- Drive for Uber
- Start your own WordPress blog
- Work From Home Jobs Part-time
- Surveys: Inbox Dollars, Swagbucks, Survey Junkie
4. Coupons and Bargain Hunting
I LOVE to save money on items I already have to buy. One way I reduced my bills was by joining a bulk grocery store, BJ’s. For a low annual fee, I can buy larger amounts of food for great prices! My family of 3 was spending $500 a month on groceries. Since joining BJ’s we have cut our budget down to $300. We mostly only need certain items because bulk lasts much longer than the bi-weekly shopping I previously did. BJ’s also provides coupons regularly throughout the month which saves me even more money.
I am a bargain hunter and prefer to never pay full price. I love to online shop and find great deals on Groupon and Amazon. I search online before I ever step foot in a store. I love to go to flea markets and garage sales to see what I can find. I use coupons and find sales on clearance racks for my family’s clothing and other basic needs. The search will be worth the cost overall. If you’re just getting started, I like this coupons for beginners quick read.
5. Wait before making big purchases
Have a big purchase you are really wanting to splurge on? Sleep on it. Give yourself a few days to consider if you really want to make the purchase. Maybe you’ll decide that you don’t really need that item. If you do end up wanting to purchase the item, get cash back apps like Dosh.
6. Refinance your student loans
If your annual income is higher than your student loan balance and you have a credit score of 690 or higher — or access to a co-signer who does — consider refinancing your student loans to a lower interest rate.
I want to let all the broke people know that you do not have to stay broke but it’s up to you to change it. If there is no change then your situation won’t and can’t. Set a goal and make a plan to obtain it. Start small if you need to and educate yourself. Good job staying informed! Feel free to take the weekend off in your apartment with your new-found desire to save money – knowledge is definitely powerful!