The number of young professionals in the American labor force is increasing. Data has shown that around 54.4 percent of young people aged 16 to 24 were employed in the U.S. in July 2021. This number was a significant increase from 46.7 percent in the same period last year.
Having a more balanced life and better mental health at work is crucial. However, being a young professional can be challenging, with more than half of those aged 18 to 25 considering quitting. Therefore, it is essential to get important advice and support to help you through these challenges, particularly when it comes to managing your finances and budget.
Having a comprehensive budgeting plan is necessary to maintain good financial health, especially with young professionals just starting their careers. Here are some budgeting tips for young professionals to help you avoid losing your financial health.
1. Eliminate Debt
Everyone wishes to live a debt-free life, but it can be tough at times to do so. In reality, household debt climbed by $286 billion in the third quarter of 2021. Similarly, consumer credit also increased by 5.6 percent in the same period.
The best way not to get overcome by debt is to minimize borrowing. You can accomplish this by limiting impulse purchases, staying within your budget, and paying with cash wherever possible.
Becoming debt-free is possible; begin by budgeting and saving. Many tools are available online to help you become debt-free, such as budgeting and finance resources from SoFi. Then, try reducing your expenses and even take on a side hustle to help you get out of debt. You can also consider debt consolidation and paying it off with a single loan
A loan may seem like it will cost you more money. But, it could help you in the long run and get you out of a major problem in your finances. You may have unexpected costs come up, so consider getting a payday loan alternative to pay off part of your debt to avoid late charges.
2. Invest in Your Future
Always make an effort to invest in your future. Ask yourself what your priorities are in life and where you want to be in your finances. Then, you can start taking steps in that direction.
Set your priorities and goals, such as buying a house, traveling, retiring early, or starting your own business, and then think of ways to achieve these goals. You may think that investments are pricey, but there are more appealing solutions for first-time investors.
Investing early and frequently gives you a significant advantage because profit can accumulate. Consider investing in mutual funds or purchasing a few stocks from around the world. If investing in stocks does not appeal to you, consider investing in your retirement fund. Because the earlier you save, the more your money can grow.
3. Create an Emergency Fund
Your finances can be severely affected when emergencies occur. So it’s essential to have an emergency fund to prepare for any problems. Regrettably, around 51 percent of people have less than three months’ worth of funds for emergencies.
The standard has been to have three to six months of living expenses in your emergency fund. This will vary depending on your circumstances. Try your best to keep at least 10 percent of your earnings for emergencies.
4. Practice Self Control
Being young and having a decent, steady income can be exciting. You have complete control over how and when you spend your money. However, it is critical not to get into a bad financial situation and spend irresponsibly.
It’s crucial to exercise self-control while making non-essential purchases. However, self-control is often easier said than done, so you have to follow a few strategies to make it possible.
Give yourself at least a day to decide before purchasing something. This will give you enough time to consider whether you genuinely require it or act on impulse. If you’re going to the grocery or the mall, make a list of what you need and stick to it. A shopping list will help you to limit your purchases and avoid impulse buying.
5. Track Spending and Income
You can’t just spend money as if there’s no tomorrow, so having a budget to keep track of all your purchases is essential. In addition, understanding your entire financial status is necessary for good budgeting.
Monitor your income and expenses to see where your money is going. From there, you may begin assessing how much money you spend in each category and creating realistic budgets for each.
Have a list of essential and non-essential items on your budget and prioritize the essential ones. Then, make sure there are still some funds left for emergencies and savings.
A Well Planned Budget Is Essential
Starting to have a respectable income and financial security can be an exciting period for many young professionals. However, such independence comes with many responsibilities. A well-planned budget is essential for establishing and maintaining financial health.