Saving strategies for young adults 

Published 7:10 pm Tuesday, August 22, 2023

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When a person is young, saving money may be the furthest thing from his or her mind. After all, this may be a time to enroll in college or trade school, make a first big purchase, such as a car, or even get married. Establishing a solid financial footing for the future can take a back seat when life is filled with many significant events.

But it’s never too early to start saving — even when saving seems impossible. Young adults should consider saving and consider various strategies to set them up for long-term financial security.

Set long-term goals

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It’s easier to save when saving is attached to specific goals. While some may aspire to retire early, establish an emergency fund, or purchase a home, others may want to save for an overseas vacation. Motivation to save can make it that much easier to do so.

Determine where you spend the most

Saving money on smaller purchases will add up over time, but to build robust savings, determine your biggest expenditures and how to cut back to pad your savings. The Logic of Money reports that the average American spends more than 60 percent of their income on housing and transportation. Figuring out how to cut costs in these categories can be a great way to save. 

Use cashback apps

Young adults are tied to their digital devices. Why not make them work for you? Free cash back apps give you money back for various purchases. Ibotta and Dosh are just two cashback apps available. Some can be linked directly to a credit or debit card to have passive income deposited directly. You can cash out with others as a direct deposit or via a payment app like PayPal.

Set aside one-third of your income

Make it a point to put away $1 for every $3 earned into a savings account, advises U.S. News & World Report. That is a good measure for establishing a rainy day fund. If you don’t trust yourself to transfer the money, have a set amount automatically deposited from your paycheck into a designated savings account.

Treat credit cards like using cash

The “buy now, pay later” option is an attractive trap to fall into. Using credit cards often is a safer way to pay merchants because you’re risking others’ money rather than your own with a debit card. However, using credit can make it challenging to visualize what you’re actually spending. Do not purchase more than you can pay off within each billing cycle. Set account alerts on your phone to let you know when you’ve hit your budgeted credit card spending limit. Resist the urge to open and use too many cards.