When you’re a child, you daydream about growing up and moving into your own home. You don’t tend to think about the bills you must pay or the chores, but the freedom you’ll have from the rules of your parents. Unfortunately, once you hit eighteen, it’s time to adult. Being an adult means you should start thinking about how you’re going to live independently from your parents and this usually starts if you choose to go off to university.
Having a wage for the first time is new, which makes it exciting and you immediately want to start spending money like it’s going out of fashion. When you’re a teenager, your mum may still do all your laundry and make your meals, but that doesn’t continue into adulthood! Once you move out, you’re out and you must learn how to pay the council tax, utilities and manage your own shopping budget. Not the Gucci shopping budget, the ones that puts food onto your table. Growing up is hard enough so when you get told you need to start paying your own bills, it can be a bit of an overwhelming moment.
Finding the right advice for setting yourself up starts with a ton of research. You’ll want to work out how much money your new job is going to pay you and figure out if it’s going to pay your rent, bills, food, travel and still have a little bit left over each month for excitement and socialising. You also want to make sure you make savings with your outgoings, because who wants to spend more when they don’t have to? Using shopping comparison websites like this one, and energy comparison websites like Selectra to save money on your utilities isn’t just penny-pinching, it’s smart! Imagine if someone told you that your rent was one figure, but that you had to pay more every month. You’d question that, right? It’s the same with your bills. Every penny you spend has to be worth it so make sure it is by shopping around.
If you are hoping to buy a house one day, you’ll need to have savings. Depending on where you are living, your outgoings could be pretty high, so making cuts where you can to add money to the savings pot is essential. The only way you’re going to manage your money is by knowing where each penny you spend is going and making the necessary changes. Swapping that £5 Starbucks wonder every day (£25 a week on coffee!) for a flask of homemade coffee is going to add £100 a month to the savings pot – it’s a huge amount of money over the course of a year and that’s just on coffee. Imagine what you could save on lunches, bills and broadband if you simply shop around?
Managing money when you’re just starting out may seem like a minefield, but as long as you have a great spreadsheet and a good idea of what you have coming in and out, you can’t lose. Go forth and adult, you’re ready.