The Definitive Guide to Conquering Your Money in Your 20s

“80% of life’s most defining moments take place by about age 35. 2/3 of lifetime wage growth happens during the first ten years of a career. More than half of Americans are married or are dating or living with their future partner by age 30. Personality can change more during our 20s than at any other decade in life.” – Dr. Meg Jay

We’re all a little confused in our 20s. Learning how to manage your money is difficult. Nobody is really all that great at money management. This leads to a popular question:

Should you pay someone to help you figure out how to manage your money?

It’s not necessary. This article will help you own your finances in your 20s. I want to change your life forever and put more money in your pocket. No more being broke. No more being confused about money. No more pointless resolutions.

Many years ago I compiled the ultimate financial survival guide for college students. Now that time has passed by, many of my readers have grown older with me. Not everyone has grown up (myself included), but that’s all good. We’re now going through our 20s trying to figure out how this whole money management thing works.

I’m going to pull all of my resources and hard work together to help you master your money in your 20s. Let’s go!

You need to slap that debt around!

The first thing that we need to deal with is debt (credit card debt, student loans, and even the $10 you owe your friend for that bet). You can’t get ahead until you start paying off your debt. That article helps you find the tools to get serious about your debt.

If you want to read my most detailed piece on the topic then you must read my 2,000 word piece on finally getting out of debt. This piece will point you in the right direction so that you know what needs to be done to finally break free from your debt.

The bad news is that debt is pretty common for folks in their 20s. The good news is that just like a hangover or gaining a few pounds, you can get rid of the debt. It’s going to take some time and commitment, but it’s worth it in the long run. I promise you that. There’s no better feeling that knowing that you’re on the right track with managing your money and close to being debt-free.

Now we can move into PREVENTING DEBT!

It’s about time that we humbled that debt and moved on. What’s next? Now it’s time to build up your savings. Getting out of debt is fun, building savings is even more fun. I love to see my accounts grow. I love to have more money today than I had yesterday. What’s the point of working if you’re not going to save money? I don’t see any.

How can you actually save money? How do you hold back from buying every new piece of technology that’s released? How do you avoid spending your whole paycheck on going out?

Very simple. Three words. Pay yourself first.

That’s all that you have to do. Call your employer or bank and ask that they take automatic deductions from every single paycheck so that you don’t have to do any work. The less the you rely on will-power the better off that you’ll be. You won’t have to do anything. The money comes out of your account and you don’t even get a chance to see it or touch it.

How do you survive when you pay yourself first? Treat the automatic deductions as a pay cut. If your boss told you tomorrow that you’re getting a pay cut, you would likely accept it and learn to adapt. You wouldn’t have much choice, unless you quit. Do this. Adapt to living off less. The money will go away and be stored for you when you need it.

[You can sign up with Ally Bank right now and create multiple accounts for your hard-earned money.]

By this point, this article should’ve changed your life. Let’s discuss some more important topics related to figuring out how to manage your money before you hit 30.

What about additional education?

Should you attend graduate school? Should you go back for more studies once you’re already in your 20s?

While there are many benefits to graduate school, it shouldn’t be your first choice in my opinion.

Should you go to college? Sure. There are two conditions that make college worth it once you’re in your 20s if you’re trying to get serious about how to manage your money:

  1. If you know what you want to do in school. Are you certain of what you want to study? If you want the college experience, then just get wasted on Tuesday nights. You don’t have to go back to school for this. If you’re not sure of why you’re in school, you might spend tons of money for no reason.
  2. You’re certain that more education will increase your income or your opportunities. Will more credentials lead to more money? If it does, then go for it! Don’t let anything stop you. If there are no guarantees, then is further education really the answer?
Just because you’re disenchanted with the working world, it doesn’t mean that you have to escape cubicle nation by going back to college. I’ll help you with this next…

What are options that totally trump college?

  • Working odd jobs. Nobody wants to suggest this because common belief is that you have to attend college. If you don’t go to college you’re screwed. Well, that’s not the case. Instead of forcing yourself to complete last minute assignments that you don’t care about, you can work odd jobs and learn just as much. We all figure out what we want to do at our own rate. Don’t let anyone force any ideas on you.
  • Traveling. I’ve written in detail about how to travel the world. Travel will open up your eyes to exactly what this world has to offer. There’s more to life than just our local coffee shop. There are amazing things happening on a daily basis and a plethora of different struggles.
  • Working with someone that has a business. Do you know anyone with a burning entrepreneurial spirit? Ask them if you can work with them. For free at first. This will teach you everything that you need to know about running a business and the operations behind it all. There’s only so much that you can learn in a classroom setting.

College isn’t for everyone. Don’t feel bad if you can’t handle the classroom. Don’t feel bad if you earned a degree and don’t have the burning desire to go back for more education. Deciding what to do after college varies between all of us.

How can you make more money?

At this point we need to start making some more money. The best way to increase your savings is to make more money so that you can put more money away, save up for large expenses, and crush your debt.

What are the best ways to increase your income?

  • Pick up a part-time gig. A side job is an excellent way to fill up your free time and to meet new people. This beats sitting around on your couch doing nothing on the evenings. You have an excuse to get out of the house and fill your bank account up with some extra money. Why not?
  • Start a side business. Every single person reading this has the ability to start an online business. You need to read about that article because I’ve discussed the topic to death. I show you the easy steps to get started right now. It never hurts to have a profitable hobby.
  • Ask for a raise. If you don’t ask the answer is always no. You might not be getting paid what you’re worth. That’s not cool. If you feel that you’ve been busting it hard at work and that it’s time for improvement, you should ask for a raise. You have nothing to lose.
  • Grab a copy of my book off Amazon. I’ll leave it at that.

That’s how you can survive your 20s if you’re totally confused.

Are you ready to manage your money? If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment.

1 thought on “The Definitive Guide to Conquering Your Money in Your 20s”

  1. 20’s, just trying to survive, and finding my way. Living on less than $15,000 a year, raising two boys,. Matured, and decided to make the Air Force a career, raising my boys, living life, and looking forward to what the future brought. didn’t think about retirement, a home was a priority then, because I knew I had to pay it off by 50.

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