Being Financially Responsible as an Adult: The How-To’s
Becoming financially independent is one of the primary stepping stones people have to deal with when becoming an adult. There are many pitfalls that can deter you from enjoying the fruits of your labor and the money you earn. Take a few minutes to get a better understanding of how you can navigate the treacherous waters that are financed as an adult. With a few how-to’s under your belt, you can ensure yourself a smoother trip when dealing with being financially independent.
Get Your Credit in Good Shape
Sure, your credit score might take a few bumps and bruises along the way in life. Still, it’s good to try and keep your score in good standing. Do you ultimately need credit? Probably not if you’re independently wealthy or plan to live an ultra off-the-grid simple life. For the rest of society though, having a good credit score will provide you with the ability to get a loan for a car or, better yet, help you qualify for that apartment or home you desire. There are many ways you can damage your score but you don’t want to do that do you? No, you want to know how to improve your score, so you can benefit from that holy grail of a number.
The easiest way to ensure you have a good to excellent score is by paying down debt. Credit cards, student, and personal loans all drag down your number. Any delinquent payments, excessive revolving credit lines, and high balances can keep your precious score in the dumps. Try and keep it in good standing by making responsible decisions with your cash and paying down debt.
Make Responsible Money Decisions
Being an adult means you don’t have to answer to your parents about how you spend your money, it’s true. But that doesn’t mean you have to go through your paychecks in a single day, either. Making good money decisions can take some practice but with the right resources and information, you can become a pro in no time.
A good rule of thumb, especially when it comes to big purchases, is to sleep on it. Don’t make a rash decision that can haunt you in the future. Take your time and really research the item so you can really see if it’s something you’re willing to undertake. If you’re willing to give yourself a week to think about it, you might find yourself walking away from that purchase entirely. Use your best judgment and take some time to think about it. You’ll thank yourself later.
Eliminate Excess Spending
This is a rough area as spending can be fun. Even so, you’ll need to eliminate excess spending if you want to be a financially responsible adult. Take a look at your life and your spending to see where you can cut back. It’s easy to overlook certain expenditures, including money spent on clothes, shoes, gambling, and alcohol.
Note: If you find that your expenses are excessively high in the adult beverage department and you can’t go without alcohol for more than a day or so without a drink, you might need some help. Spending your hard-earned money on alcohol is fine, as they say, in moderation. But if you’re digging yourself a financial hole due to alcohol, you should seek professional assistance so you can remedy that situation. Professionals at an alcohol treatment center, Orange County has many of them, can provide the treatment you require to help with alcohol addiction. Being able to overcome your vice will, in turn, keep that money in your account. That way it can be used on more important things, like the electric bill.
A good way to keep abreast of your finances is by keeping a log of expenditures. Make yourself a spreadsheet on your handy PC or laptop and keep track of your money. This way, you can monitor your cash flow and make any adjustments where they are needed. Be sure to track all monthly expenses including rent, utilities, and any personal debt from loans or credit cards. Having all the information in one easy to read sheet will allow you to get a full grasp of how you spend your money.
As it’s your life to live, you’ll have to do what’s best for you. These how-to’s to financing as an adult are merely a guide to help those looking for assistance. There’s nothing written in stone here, so take what you will from it. Being financially independent as a new adult will take you many places and you’ll have to navigate the best you can with or without any help.