Three Financial Mistakes To Avoid When First Starting Out On Your Own

Striking out on your own for the first time, with your first job, apartment, and set of responsibilities, can be both exciting and challenging. The financial decisions you make now can affect your life for years. The following are some mistakes you definitely want to avoid when you are just starting out.

#1: Letting FOMO and YOLO guide your decisions

FOMO, or fear of missing out, and YOLO, you only live once, are common mantras for the young and young at heart. While there is some wisdom in these acronyms, they should be practiced only within reason and with moderation. Saying yes to everything – expensive restaurant meals, trips and activities, or even material goods, can quickly drain your checking account. Instead, opt for activities that offer more quality for less cost. For example, instead of weekly expensive restaurant meals with your friends, set up a rotating dinner party date. Or, opt for low-cost backpacking or camping trips to hidden gems nearby instead of expensive group vacations overseas. You still get the memories, but without the debt.

#2: Never saving for a rainy day

One great thing about the first few years on your own is that you probably don't have a lot of financial responsibilities yet beyond rent and utilities since you don't have kids or other bills, like house payments, yet. This means you can lead a relatively lush life on a minimal wage. Just because you have it doesn't mean you should spend it, though. Make sure you save a little from each paycheck. The best option is to invest in a company 401K plan, especially if you are offered matching from your employer. The second best option is to open up your own IRA retirement savings account. Your future self will thank you.

#3: Ignoring financial problems

Life has its ups and downs, which means you may end up short of cash. This is especially true if you haven't had a chance to save up very much yet. Don't ignore debt, no matter how small, though, as it has a tendency to grow. Plus, unpaid debts can have a negative affect on your credit score, which can hurt you later. If you are truly short on cash and know it will only be for a few weeks, consider getting a payday loan. The key to using these loans successfully is to be fully aware of the total payment amount, as well as the payment terms. Most payday loans must be repaid within a week to a month, as they are generally set up to coincide with your paydays. Only take out as much of a loan as you know you can pay back on your next payday, otherwise you will just be switching one debt out for another. Contact a business like Payday Express to learn more.

With planning and restraint, you can enjoy your new freedom and make smart decisions for the future.