3 Ways to Save Money as a Young Adult

3 Ways You Can Save Money as a Young Adult

Whether you're in college or trying to make it out in the "real world", it's important to save money in any way you can.

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Don't fall into a hole of debt as a young adult. Start making smart financial decisions and save money from the get-go. Here are some simple ways you can start saving money.

Start Budgeting

The most important thing you can do to save money is to start budgeting. Create a budget where you can lay out on paper how much you're making, how much you have to spend on necessities (rent, groceries, gas), and see how much is left. From what is left over, determine how much you should be saving per month. If you can save 25% of your paycheck, that's a great way to start an emergency fund. However, many people who are just starting out can't save that much, so just do what you can. Have a set amount of money per month for non-essentials and pleasure, such as eating out at nice restaurants, going to events, etc. By sticking to your budget, you won't fall into debt and you'll be saving at least a little bit of your income each month.

Make Smart Investments

It may seem difficult to start thinking about investing money when you don't have a ton to begin with, but you can start small and work your way up. Investing money will allow you to start making a passive income down the line, which means you'll be saving money without working any extra. You can make investments in the stock market, or by purchasing things that will save you money directly. For example, you could invest in solar panels which will end up saving you a ton of money down the line on utilities.

Pay Off Your Debt 

Many young adults are in debt, especially if they went to college and had to take out student loans. The key to not falling even deeper in the hole is by paying off your debt as fast as possible. This may mean you need to cut out some pleasure purchases such as a trip to Europe or even just not going out to dinner often. The faster you can pay off debt, the more money you'll save by not paying interest on your credit cards or student loans down the line.

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The Experience Of Going Home After Your First Year Away

"There's no place like home."

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Home. My safe place. The place that calls to me when I am stressed or lonely or sad. The place that fills me with happiness and nostalgia. I will be home in less than a month. But this time, I know it will be different. There is no way it can be the same as it was because I have spent the last 10 months living on my own. No one telling me to clean my room or do my laundry. No one asking me to lower the television. No one asking me what time I will be home when I go out. Freedom. Independence. Autonomy. Self-government. Perfection in its truest form.

Don't get me wrong. My parents are great. They have always encouraged me to be independent, and they have always trusted me. However, they will comment on my room if my laundry bin is getting too full. They never miss an opportunity to tell me my showers are too long, and that the water bill is going up while the lake is emptying because of all the water I am wasting. I haven't had to hear any of this for almost a year, and, to be honest, it's been nice.

We leave home to go away to college, and even though we are 18, we really are not an adult. I didn't feel like one when I first left home, but I feel so much more like one now. For 10 months, I have had to do it all on my own. No one woke me up to go to class. No one reminded me to do my homework. No one did my laundry for me. Sure, my family is only a phone call or text message away, but I pride myself on standing on my own two feet. I got a job here on campus because I like making my own money. I love the feeling I get when I want to buy something, and I don't have to "ask permission." I love being able to buy my family gifts and know that it's coming from me — that I am paying for it with the money I earned. I lined up a couple of jobs for the summer while I was home from spring break, so I am ready. Adulting here I am.

I will always be respectful of my parents, and I know they will be respectful of me, but I am trying to prepare myself for the adjustment of being an adult living with her parents. I know they are trying to prepare themselves as well. They went through it. My father went into the Marine Corps right after high school, and when he returned from overseas three years later, it took some adjusting. My mother went away to school just like I did. She and her parents had to find common ground, so I am confident we will too. We may hit some rough patches or experience some turbulence, but nothing we can't handle. We always work through things. We always have.

All this aside, I am looking forward to spending time with my family, having home cooked meals, enjoying downtime with my dogs, sleeping in MY bed, and using my own private bathroom! With each passing year, I am sure it will get easier and easier until the day I move out permanently. It seems so far off in the distance, but my first year of college just went by in the blink of an eye, so am I sure the next few years will fly by as well. However, it's really nice knowing that no matter how old I am, I will always be able to go home — the comfortable, safe, welcoming place my parents have made for me and my sister. Just like Dorothy said, "There no place like home," and she went back after spending time in Oz.

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3 Ways to Save Money on Utilities During Winter

As college students or young adults, we're always looking for ways to save some extra money each month. Here's how you can keep your house warm without spending a fortune on heating this winter.

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Don't leave your heater blasting for the next two months and pay a ton of money to the utility company. Here are three ways to keep warm and save money.

Make Sure Your Heating System Is Performing Optimally

Your heating system is what will keep your house warm throughout the winter months, but don't pay a ton of extra money because your system is working harder to heat your home. If your heating system is working at its best, it will save you a ton of money during the winter. If you think your system isn't working properly, you can have professionals come out and take a look.

Keep Your Home Insulated

Insulation helps to keep your home warm without using extra heat. By keeping your home insulated, you can save a fortune on utilities because your heating system will be doing a lot less heating. If you don't want to pay for insulation, you can do small things around the house to keep it warmer. Keep the curtains closed all the time to hold in heat. Have the fans turn the opposite way to circulate warm air. These small things can really make a difference.

Bundle Up

Instead of jumping straight to turn the heater on when it gets a bit cold in your home, bundle up with a sweater, sweatpants, and a blanket first. Keep yourself warm using comfy clothing instead of paying money to heat your home. You'll still feel just as toasty, and you'll see a big drop in your monthly utility bill from not using the heater as much.

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