Living on one’s own for the first time can be equal parts exciting and scary. After growing accustomed to having your parents provide food, shelter and transportation free of charge, living independently can represent a huge adjustment. Fortunately, you’re not alone. Although some young adults are more eager to get out from under their parents’ roofs than others, everyone experiences some degree of financial anxiety when living alone for the first time. Additionally, with cost of living on a constant upswing, living within one’s means can be an uphill battle. Newly independent young adults on the hunt for practical financial advice are encouraged to consider the following measures.
Use Money Management Software
For many young adults, budgeting can be an arduous undertaking. If you’ve never had to live within a strict budget, having difficulty adjusting is perfectly understandable. Even for the most financially-savvy among us, keeping a careful mental checklist of every purchase we make and how those purchases stand to impact our monthly budgets can be exhausting.
Young adults who need assistance keeping their finances in order can benefit from investing in good money management software. Well-designed, user-friendly money management software can help you create a practical budget and provide you with an accurate accounting of how your spending habits affect both your monthly budget and long-term financial goals.
Limit How Often You Dine Out
Living on your own for the first time can provide a powerful impetus to brush up on your cooking skills. However, people who are consistently busy often lack the time or inclination to tackle culinary challenges head-on, opting instead to dine out and order takeout on a regular basis. While this can be a great way to support local businesses, frequently dining out can quickly eat away at your finances.
With this in mind, try limiting the number of restaurant meals you indulge in each month by setting a strict food budget. Not only will this help save you money, it will make meals out feel like special occasions and provide you with something to look forward to. Cooking for yourself may present a number of challenges, but as you’ll find, few things are more rewarding than eating a meal that you’ve personally prepared.
Additionally, with COVID-19 infection rates steadily on the rise, dining at sit-down restaurants is ill-advised. So, if you absolutely insist on dining out, opt for takeout instead.
Find Ways to Have Fun at Home
Hitting the town with friends and partying on a consistent basis are among the foremost leisure activities of many young adults. Living on one’s own entails no longer being bound by curfews, and a fair number of young adults want to enjoy this perk to the fullest. However, as is the case with restaurant meals, going out all the time can put a sizable dent in your finances. Conversely, spending more nights in can be a boon to your budget and enable you to recharge your batteries.
While staying home is liable to strike newly independent young adults as a boring prospect, there are many ways to have an enjoyable and fulfilling time in the comfort of one’s own residence. Also, given the size of most people’s media backlogs, finding ways to occupy one’s time at home should not prove very challenging. Between streaming services, video games, e-books and other forms of popular media, boredom will have a hard time creeping in.
Again, with the COVID-19 pandemic still presenting a very real threat, staying home is among the most effective ways to protect yourself and others and help curb the spread of the virus.
Rotate Your Streaming Service Subscriptions
Instead of cable packages, many young adults opt to subscribe to streaming services. While streaming services are a bottomless well of fascinating content, most of us don’t consistently use every service to which we subscribe. Some streaming platforms are only accessed when new seasons of our favorite shows are released, while others are never booted up at all. So, if you’re paying for subscriptions to platforms you rarely use, consider canceling those subscriptions and reactivating them whenever content you wish to indulge is released.
As cost of living increases at a steady clip, wages in many parts of the country remain stagnant. Needless to say, this can make living independently as a young adult a very difficult prospect. In the absence of a high-paying job or robust savings account, good money management and smart spending practices are essential to independent living and financial security. That being the case, young adults who are struggling with money should put the previously discussed tips to practical use.