April 5, 2012, 6:00 am

Should You Even Save Money in Your 20s?

by: MD    Category: Financial Planning
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When I’m out at a social event or on a trip I usually don’t mention to new friends that I’m a personal finance blogger right off the bat. I just don’t care for awkward drunken arguments about saving money and how personal finance works. I try to avoid giving unsolicited advice at all costs.

“I’ve never been one for the preservation of money. I would rather spend it while I’m living.” — Drake

You only live once. You can only be young once. Life is short. Life is all about having fun. You need to have fun. You need to enjoy yourself. You never know when you’re going to die. You don’t know if the world is going to end. You got to enjoy your youth. Money is meant to be spent.

Why should you even bother with saving money in your 20s?

While there are valid reasons (as presented above) for not saving money in your 20s, I find that those are all just excuses. In media and amongst our peers, we often hear negative criticisms of those that enjoy saving money and planning for the future. It seems to be much cooler to be a “baller,” rather than a saver. It’s more fun to talk about spending money instead of saving it.

I’ve noticed that those that can’t save money or don’t make enough money are quick to scoff at the idea of saving money. While there’s no real right or wrong answer here because I don’t want to preach to my friends, I still wanted to share my thoughts on this topic.

Should you even save money in your 20s? Yes you should. I’m a huge supporter of saving money in your 20s.

Why should you save money in your 20s?

  1. Plan for your future.
  2. Retire early.
  3. You don’t want to work into your 70s.
  4. Save for a rainy day.
  5. Investment opportunities.
  6. So you don’t live with your parents forever.
  7. Deal with emergencies.
  8. Help your family out if they need it.
  9. Buy a home eventually.
  10. For your wedding (yes stud, you’ll get married one day).
  11. For your future children.
  12. Travel to cool places.
  13. Go on trips with friends.

That’s why I personally do my best to save money. The funny thing is that I spend money like crazy as well. As I’m typing this I’m about to hit my third trip for 2012 (Miami for Wrestlemania). I just follow the steps below when it comes to saving money.

How can you save money in your 20s?

  • Pay yourself first.
  • Avoid credit card debt.
  • Pay off your debt if you have any.
  • Increase your income.
  • Start a side business.
  • Ask for a raise.
  • Sell your crap.
  • Work hard and don’t waste time.

These tips for saving money aren’t exactly Earth shattering, but guess what? They all work. Saving money doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Asking your employer to take off $200 off your paycheck will go a long way when it comes to your savings at the end of the year. A little bit of money saved beats not having anything saved at all.

While I party often and travel whenever I can, my main priority is always to save money. If I don’t have money or if my savings aren’t on track, I put my head down and work. You shouldn’t be afraid of work in your 20s. Your 20s are the best time to leverage your boundless energy and create a strong financial situation for your 30s. That’s just my two cents.

For the younger readers– are you saving money in your 20s?

For the older readers– do you wish you saved more money in your 20s

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Comments

I use to be one of those people who figured ‘oh, well you only live once’ as I paid for things. Now, I find it counter-productive to the idea of retirement. I do not want to have to work a ‘normal’ job past retirement. However, I will hopefully have a few side ventures to keep me busy.

I broke a six-figure savings milestone in my 20’s – all because I wasn’t an idiot when it came to diverting money into my retirement accounts and focusing on investments. When I’m retired at a young age living off my savings and others are still working into their 70’s, we’ll see who the “baller” is.

There are a lot of conflicting sources of information on how you should live your life, and when you’re young, it’s easier to listen to others than sit down and decide for yourself. What it comes down to is a choice: save a little bit now while you’re young (even if it’s hard) and watch it grow over time, or vow to save later. The “saving later” mentality CAN work, but it’s hard because habits form and “later” keeps getting pushed back. Few people will tell you “I wish I had saved less.”

Also, Drake is a great rapper, but probably not the best source for money advice. It’s probably easier to have the “you only live once” mentality when you’re “25 sittin’ on $25 mil.” :)

I’m definitely trying to find ways to save money in my 20′s. So many people just don’t understand the power of compounding – you can get so much further ahead by starting earlier. Our commercial society puts an emphasis on living in the present at the expense of a little forward thinking. On another note, have fun at Wrestlemania!! I didn’t even know they still did that. I remember watching that as a kid in the late 80′s/early 90′s.

It’s so important for “kids” to save money at a young age. The reality is that social security will be around when we hit retirement, but it’s unlikely that it will be in the form that it is today (offered to everyone).

If you EVER want to retire you must start early and overcome the want to be “cool” and normal like your friends. Being a saver is the way to go!

You definitely need to save in your 20s and learn to save even before that … There is a co-worker that I know that is set on saving X% of his salary and spending everything else. The focus is on the spending part and there is a bit of saving but it was clear he wanted to spend and live … I have avoided the discussion but the reality is that if you plan on getting married and having kids, it’s going to take money and you will certainly have to adjust your lifestyle.

Personally, and many others including my parents, don’t understand why the education system doesn’t cover the topic of planning money. If at least most were aware of the money requirements at different life stages, they would make a conscious decision knowing the consequences.

It is unfortunate that the best time to save (in your 20s) coincides when we are too immature to do it.

Great tips there.

Being financially secure and independent is incredibly important to me. So is travel and good food. Hence a big reason for my blogging – trying to find that balance!

I plan to save as much as I can in my 20′s. I get the whole “only live once” thing but I take that as a great reason to save so I do not need to spend that life in an office. I will enjoy not going into work during my 40′s more than I would enjoy a brand new car right now.

I don’t think someone in their 20s scoffs at saving money anymore than someone in his or her 30s. The biggest issue is knowing how to save or even having the money to do so. There is even lots of conflicting information. Should the person in his or her 20s focus on saving money or paying down debts accumulated while in college? I wish that all of our young people understood the importance of saving and the significance of doing it sooner rather than later. This is why I’m trying to move off my blog and rather into the community. Financial literacy is important at any age.

Should I save in my 20s? Definitely yes. I’ve saved enough in my early 20s to fund my travels and take a year off from doing thankless side jobs. I’m taking some months break to travel. That’s how I keep myself motivated to work and save enough. Not so much a fan of early retirement.

[...] Should You Even Save Money in Your 20s? @ [...]

I was a saver in my teens, but stopped after university – lots of stuff, not a lot of it good. Now I’m in my 50′s and I’ve been working on my finances for a while now. It’s a lot harder. But this is how I’d sum up your “saving money in your 20′s” list:
Life can be short, and life can be long. Prepare for both.
Thanks for your blog!

[...] week the Financial Blogger discussed a touchy subject and inquired, Should You Even Save Money in Your 20s?  You may be surprised by the [...]

[...] The Financial Blogger asks a great question: should we save money in our 20s? [...]

by: Jacob @ iHeartBudgets | April 6th, 2012 (11:32 am)

Loved this post. Definitely important to save in your 20′s. I just turned 26, and have blown through more money than most people have in retirement by age 65! I blew through over $100k (inherited) from age 18-21 and became broke. If I would have saved that money and GOT A JOB I would be in a much different place. But I have learned from my mistakes, and have plowed my way through $28k of debt, bought a house, had a kid and my wife is now at home.

I still have 4 years left to save in my 20′s, and will definitely preach the powers of compounding interest, but I do caution becoming a miser just to retire with millions. I think finding a balance based on your values is the way to go. All money should filter through your life’s priorities, and you checkbook should accurately reflect your values. For example; If you love travel, you will allocate more money to that than, say, electronics, and vice versa. I believe in the idea of spending where it counts, and not letting your money go to areas that are not a priority.

I am getting ahead of myself, and obviously need ot get my blog launched so I don’t write a novel comment on everyone’s blog! Just want to say I appreciate the article, I think it is spot on for “kids” my age ;)

-Jake

I could totally identify with what you’re going through when you talked about hanging out with friends and giving them financial advice. Like you, I try not to give financial advice unless I really think it’s wanted. Bravo on a great post!

I am. I’m making mistakes while I’m doing it, too! But I’m learning, and I think that’s a major part of it. I still think you need to have some fun while you’re young, though. Save, absolutely. But don’t get so obsessed with pinching every penny that you miss out on experiences that will enrich you as a person outside of the realm of finances.

I started saving for retirement when I was 22 despite having a low income (lower than the living wage where I was living). I think it’s even MORE important to save with a lower income because I don’t want to be behind my higher-earning peers later. I also would like to have the option of not working for a few years when we have infants, and it will be easier to say “yes” to that with healthy savings from earlier years.

The earlier you start saving and investing, the better. Time is a huge factor when it comes to saving and investing. Time is the ingredient that transforms compound interest into the 8th wonder of the modern world

[...] from The Financial Blogger presents Should You Even Save Money in Your 20s?, and gives a strong valid argument towards saving money while in your [...]

I have worked a part-time job for 3 of my 4 years of college. I am about to go to medical school but I decided that I wanted to take advantage of a Roth IRA while I still can. Recently purchased shares of Vanguard Target Retirement 2050 and they will be growing tax free for the next 38 years I hope :)

Time = money and I still have enough saved up to completely pay my rent during the first year of medical school!

[...] week we looked at the idea of saving money in your 20s. We looked at the importance of saving money in your 20s. A few interesting comments were brought [...]

[...] a note from this article about how exactly to open and close in order to leave the best impression.Should You Even Save Money in Your 20s? [The Financial Blogger] Does saving money while you’re young make any sense, or should you [...]

[...] looked at saving money in your 20s already. Today I wanted to have some fun and talk about spending money. One of the most common ways [...]

I’m definitely saving money. I have a house and would hate if I missed a payment.

I for one salute any person in their 20′s who manage to save money and still balance a “you only live once lifestyle”. I believe everything in life should be balanced.

I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t save my money and purchase my first flat at around 20 years old. It was a no-brainer for me but for most they need motivation.

I particularly agree with your statement “I’ve noticed that those that can’t save money or don’t make enough money are quick to scoff at the idea of saving money.” How do we change their outlook? How do we motivate? Well there is only so much we can do, at the end of the day, we make the bed we lie in.
Great Tips!
Mr.CBB

[...] few weeks ago I wrote about saving money in your 20s. The post has close to 30 comments and I wanted to use today to highlight some of the top [...]

Jake, I am truly impressed you blew through $100,000 from 18-21. What on earth did you buy? And what were your parents saying?

thx