We all might have been taught Algebra in school, but there is no course on “how to survive on your own in your twenties.” This article is also not a course on that, because, truly, nobody can teach, or be taught, how to survive on your own in their twenties. What can be offered is a guideline on achieving financial independence and self-sustenance, two of the most important factors in survival. If you are in your 20s, these two factors will definitely be quite a challenge to attain given that in these you are most likely in the process of rounding up your studies, getting your first job, starting a business or moving out from your parent’s home; sometimes all at the same time. If you are going through these challenges, then the following will offer you some guidelines on how to scale them.
- Never Stop Learning: The world is constantly evolving and new insights are discovered every day. As a twenty something year old, you can’t afford to not be up to date on issues concerning the world. You might, or might not, be done with your education but learning for self-development is a lifelong thing. Reading books, surfing through educative articles and podcasts online, attending seminars, networking, and taking courses are great ways to expand your knowledge and develop yourself. Through constant learning you obtain new skills which can be very helpful in your career on the long run.
- Take Charge of Your Finances: This would probably be the hardest bit, but it still has to be done. It’s often the case that people who don’t begin to get their finances together in their 20’s struggle well into their lives to find their feet. Take charge of your finances by having a well mapped out budget and a disciplined saving regimen. A budget gives you a bird’s eye view of your financial life. It sheds light on bad spending habits, and helps curtail the risk of overspending on trivial items and under saving for major needful goals. When you know where all your money is going, it makes it easier to cut costs and start saving. How much should you save? Start from the level you can but start all the same. Major reasons for saving include emergency funds (These are for necessary for unexpected occurrences like car repairs, health care, or job loss), furthering your education, weddings, luxury items and trips (because you deserve to spoil yourself every now and then) and retirement. If you have children at this stage, then saving for them, especially their education is helpful. Click here to find out more on that.
- Expand Your Horizon: Do not be afraid of trying new things. Got a dream you want to pursue or a talent/skill that has been underused over the years? This is the time to develop it. If you’ve got a skill there will be someone willing to pay you for it. Creating multiple income streams will not only build your personal wealth, but serve you well as you get older. With today’s volatile job market, it’s helpful to have other sources of cash coming in. An easy way to increase your income is through a side hustle. Side-hustles are little micro-businesses that you can run when you’re not doing your day job. It could be something as simple as making arts and crafts or selling fashion products online. For more information on successfully running a side hustle, read our piece on side projects here
- Your Health Matters: In your 20s, your body is young enough to tolerate some of the abuse you put it through – from unhealthy food to nights with only two hours of sleep. But that won’t last forever. The habits you develop in your 20s can affect you decades from now. It pays to start eating right, not necessarily following fads or diets, but eating a well-rounded balanced meal. Getting 6-8 hours of sleep is essential to helping you perform at the top of your game. Exercise is also essential, whether aerobic exercises like walking, or anaerobic exercises like weightlifting. It might take a lot of effort but your future self will thank you for it.
- Take Responsibility Of Your Life: This is not the time to blame your parents or anyone for decisions made in the past. Take charge of your life. Paying your bills when they are due, living within your means, and avoiding reckless spending should be paramount at this stage. If you are still struggling and trying to build healthier habits, just try to do better each month. Take it one step at a time. Responsibility in one aspect of your life makes it easier for other areas, for instance, if you are not taking care of your money, then chances are you are suffering in other areas such as your relationships and/or career.
Your 20s won’t last forever. Make the most out of them. Make new friends and don’t forget the old ones. Make the world better than you met it.
If you have more tips on how to survive in your 20s, kindly let us know in the comment section.