Money Past Grad

Financial Survival 101

Tips and tricks to avoid failing Personal Finance in life.

By Tanya

The financial challenges faced by young adults today are very unique in nature.

These are the times where tuition fees are rising, global unemployment rates are at their peak, lifestyle costs have gone up the roof and entry-level salaries have dropped.  Basically young adults (with their bare minimum financial literacy) are getting hired into low-paying jobs with high student debt to pay off.  In addition to all of these factors, the market is attempting to push GenZ and Millenials to spend more and more on things that are not really valuable.

If you are working in an entry level or a lower paying job, it can often be difficult to maintain your finances. You may even  feel frustrated trying to save money. Here are a few tips to help you handle your finances in a better way.

#1 Ask for some initial support:
Struggling to pay the rent with the current salary you have? You could move back in with your parents for a while until you are financially secure enough to provide for yourself. As more millennials are continuing to stay with their parents, the idea is not so bad after all.  If that is still not  an option for you, try renting out an extra room or look for shared accommodation spaces. You could also look for jobs which provide you housing or you can move to an area where the rent is not  that expensive. It is important to know where to draw the line. Identify the added costs that your parents incur and contribute in your little way.

#2 Embrace the frugal entrepreneurial mindset:

Getting hired is hard? Try creating your own opportunity. Find your strength and double tap that economy. Identify like-minded people and start something of your own! Extra money never hurt anyone. Side jobs are a great option as well. These will actually help you in covering up your most basic necessities and will help you in saving up more money. Engage in freelance work, so that you can do it in your free time. You should check with your employer whether this would be following company protocol before taking this decision.

#3 Cut out your Credit Cards: (quite literally)

Let’s face it, credit cards make our lives easy. Only in the short-term.

The more dependent you get on credit cards, the more debt you will  find yourself in. Every time you find yourself shopping, make sure to only buy the essentials and pay by cash. People often end up using credit cards without ever paying attention to the amount of debt they might be accumulating. If you need to swipe it, don’t buy it.

#4 Keep Track Of Groceries:
If you do not keep track of what you need, you will go overboard. Keep a checklist of what you need and only buy essentials. You will not need soda, chips or chocolates everyday. It would be better if you bought them only when required. At a grocery store, you have many options for the same item. Generic brands are cheaper, but usually of the same quality, so keep an eye out for them!

#5 Entertainment can be more affordable!

Just because you might be earning a low salary, does not mean you cannot treat yourself. You can find cheaper or even free events that you can attend with your friends. Museums like the local Art Museum only charge a nominal amount for entry, and the same can be applied to food too! Follow us on instagram @finllect to explore our #FinllectFinds every week!

Free weekend performances by artists happen all across the world. You can find deals online for cheaper ticket prices and places to eat. Deals. Discounts. Offers.

These are the things that truly show value is the “less is more” slogan.

#6 Save some, every week.

In a week, try to save up at least at least a quarter of your earnings. Even small amounts like $5, $10 or  $20 when added up, amount to a lot. Create a savings account for yourself and keep depositing whatever is saved at the end of the month into that bank account. Over the years, it will amount to a lot. Look at the bigger picture, and look to satisfy yourself for the long term.

Here is an example (in the UAE context) for you:

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#7 Save on Transport too! 

Instead of spending money on transport, see if you can carpool with others. It will be much cheaper for you in the long run. You can split the gas bill with others, or even use public transportation like the metro and the bus when travelling.

 #8 Track Your Finances

Track your finances and keep a budget. When you start tracking where your money is, you will be able to see whether you are spending it on the essentials or other luxury items. When you see this for yourself, you will automatically start cutting down on what you do not need. You will also be able to see how much you are using your debit or credit cards, and where you are using them. After that, you need to analyse whether you actually want to continue your habits or whether you need to change them.

Follow these great tips and you’ll find it easier to survive on your entry level salary!

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