While living with parents or family is nice, it can get old after a while. People need their independence; however, living on your own can be daunting especially if you’re young and don’t have much money. In this case, here are some of the best ways to save money while on your own. You’ll become more responsible with your money with these slight changes in your life.
Create a Savings Account
The first step to saving like an adult is to create a savings account. Assuming you have a steady income, savings accounts store money and earn interest. These are federally insured accounts, so if the bank fails it can cover up to $250,000. Savings accounts can help you grow your money. Strong annual percentage yields (APYs) typically offer low initial deposit requirements and low monthly maintenance fees while paying back your money with slight interest. Importantly, savings accounts are not quick cash deposits like checking accounts. You have limited accessibility for emergencies or large expenses.
Use Credit Cards Wisely
Of course, just because you have money in the bank doesn’t mean you should spend it frivolously. Use bank cards responsibly, especially if it’s a credit card. Credit cards are risky because, when used improperly, they can rack up long-term debt. Banks use credit cards as a trust-system in which the bank pays for the card statement with the trust that you’ll pay back the debt in a monthly or circulatory billing cycle. While many people can do this responsibly, you must know your limits. Extreme credit card debt can ruin your credit which affects your mortgage, housing, and even your job.
Likewise, buy used items whenever possible. One of the best ways to save money while on your own is through used goods. Most people scoff at the idea of buying someone else’s belongings, but many stores have made it easier to do so. These stores offer high-end products at a fraction of their original cost. Similarly, consider used goods for first-time major purchases too. Specifically, consider used appliances (if they’re still functional), used electronics (slightly outdated ones work fine), and used cars. Your first car on your own doesn’t need to be a luxury vehicle. In fact, look around and negotiate until you find the right used car for your budget and lifestyle; if you need pointers, follow these handy tips for buying your first car.
Prioritize Needs Over Wants
Finally, prioritize your needs over wants. While it’s healthy to treat yourself to a nice meal or fun activity, save these for special occasions. When saving money, you need to consider all necessary and unnecessary expenses. Monthly rent and utilities naturally fall under necessary expenses. However, you can reduce weekly nights out or buying new entertainment to save more money. That’s not to say you must eliminate these from your life completely; just be smarter about how often you afford these small luxuries.