Most of us in our twenties are working to become independent women. Some of us have been making money since our teens, but for others, earning and saving is a completely new experience. While receiving paychecks can be an exiting thing, growing up also comes with new set of expenses and responsibilities. It can be tricky to navigate your financial situation, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Financial independence starts with being financially literate and taking action to set yourself up for success. Here are some basic tips to get you started. We’ve also suggested a few apps to really get you moving.
Visit your local bank
If you don’t have a bank account by now, you need one. Putting your hard-earned money in the bank is the smartest thing you can do. Set up an online account and download your bank’s app for a wait-free banking experience, and an easy way to stay up-to-date with activity in your accounts. Banks are becoming increasingly tech savvy so many national banks with let you make transfers through your app and even photograph a check for deposit.
Open a Savings Account
When you start making money it's important that you pay yourself first. Accidents happen and unexpected events come up so opening a savings account is essential to maintaining financial independence. Decide on a set percentage of your paycheck (experts recommend 20 percent), and once you put it in, don’t take it out. Only tap into your savings when it's the only option.
Pay off loans with a higher interest first
If you are not already, make sure you are on a payment plan that works for you. Tackle those loans with higher interest first to save some money.
Know your income
There’s more to knowing your income than simply knowing the dollar amount. Your income is the best indicator of how you can spend your money. Download Spendee, an app that helps you manage your income and spending through infographics.
Make a budget
Do not spend money you don’t have. If you live on a shoestring budget, Loubotins shouldn't be on your shopping list. Once you know your net pay, sit down and list all your expenses such as gas, utilities, rent, insurance, groceries, etc. Budgt is an app that can help you track your expenses, and can even tell you how much money you can spend daily. Mint is another great option to sync all of your accounts and track your finances, and it's free!
Pay on time
Avoid late and overdraft fees by selecting an automatic bill payment option. Manilla can keep track of all your bills, magazine subscriptions, rewards and health care accounts. The app will even send you push notifications to remind you when bills are due.
As daunting as it sounds, everyone needs credit. If you don’t have a credit card, visit your bank. Look into one with a rewards or cash back program in order to make money while you spend money. But whatever you do, don’t go crazy. Credit card debt builds quickly, and is one of the biggest sources of personal debt in the country today. Take your time and be thoughtful about your financial choices.