- Money management is critical to achieving financial security and stability as a young adult.
- Budgeting, saving money, and investing are essential steps for successful financial management.
- Homeownership can provide financial security, emotional satisfaction, and a sense of freedom.
- Developing a career path involves researching desired fields, pursuing internships/apprenticeships, attending college/taking online courses, and networking.
Living independently is an important life skill for young adults, enabling them to become self-sufficient, provide for themselves, and control their lives. The skills associated with living independently—such as money management, problem-solving, and interpersonal communication—are invaluable for navigating adulthood. Moreover, research shows that young adults who can live independently have more success in life than those who aren’t.
A study by the American Institutes for Research found that nearly 80 percent of people who had moved out of their parent’s home by age 21 were better off financially than those who stayed until they were 25 or older. These individuals had higher average incomes and a higher net worth when they reached their 30s. In addition, they reported feeling more satisfied with their jobs and having more freedom in decision-making; only around 5 percent experienced poverty or homelessness during this period.
Furthermore, a National Center for Education Statistics survey showed that those aged 18–24 who lived independently or with a non-parental adult had higher college completion rates than those still living with their parents. This suggests that gaining experience caring for oneself—often from living independently—can improve academic performance.
Fortunately, you can start planning as early as possible to achieve a stable life as a young adult. Here are a few critical aspects to consider.
Improving Financial Management
Financial management is an essential skill for young adults to master as they transition into adulthood. Money management skills can help young adults secure their financial future and improve life satisfaction. Understanding the fundamentals of budgeting, saving money, and investing can enable young adults to achieve stability and build wealth.
Here are a few ways to ensure proper financial management as a young adult:
Budgeting is one of the most critical steps in managing finances. A budget allows individuals to track their spending habits, identify areas of improvement, and set financial goals. It also helps them track their progress toward those goals, reinforcing better spending habits. Young adults should list expenses—including rent, food, transportation costs, insurance premiums, loan payments, etc.—and then allocate funds accordingly. Tracking expenses regularly will help them stay on top of their financial situation.
Saving money is critical for achieving long-term financial security. Young adults should strive to save at least 10 percent of their income each month to establish an emergency fund or retirement savings account. To make saving more accessible, they should set up automatic transfers from checking accounts into savings accounts each month so that the money isn’t immediately available for spending.
Investing is another crucial aspect of financial management that can help young adults grow their wealth over time. Investing in stocks and mutual funds can provide significant returns if done correctly; however, it is essential to understand the risks involved before investing any money in these markets. A basic understanding of investment principles—such as diversification, risk tolerance, and portfolio construction—can go a long way toward helping novice investors make informed decisions about where to put their money.
Seeking Professional Help
Finally, seeking professional help can benefit young adults needing more financial guidance. Financial advisors and certified public accountants (CPAs) are trained professionals who specialize in financial planning and can be consulted for advice on budgeting methods or complex investment strategies tailored to individual needs or circumstances.
Securing a Home
Home security is essential to living independently and achieving stability as a young adult. In addition to providing physical shelter, homeownership offers financial security through equity accumulation, potential tax deductions, and asset appreciation over time. Furthermore, owning a home can often provide emotional satisfaction since it is an anchor for family life and community engagement.
There are various ways to achieve homeownership as a young adult. One of the most common strategies is buying pre-selling condominium units in new developments or buying properties at auction sales. Pre-selling involves purchasing a unit before it is available on the market. In some cases, buyers can buy multiple units at discounted prices and rent them out for rental income down the line. Auction sales allow individuals to buy homes quickly and at lower prices than those in traditional real estate markets.
Some people inherit their family’s property, while others use government programs or take out mortgages to purchase homes. Regardless of the chosen path, young adults should understand all the associated costs—including repairs and renovation fees, closing costs, insurance premiums, mortgage payments, taxes, etc.—before committing.
Developing Career Path
Developing a career path is fundamental to achieving stability as a young adult. Young adults should focus on gathering information about their desired field and setting long-term goals. This includes researching relevant industries, exploring career options, pursuing internships or apprenticeships, and forming connections to gain mentorship opportunities.
Attending college can help young adults get ahead by providing them with the necessary skills and knowledge for success in the modern job market. Earning a degree also gives them access to more job opportunities and higher pay than those without one. While attending college isn’t always feasible due to financial constraints, numerous free online courses available today allow individuals to learn new skills at no cost.
Even if you are working, you might consider part-time studies or certifications. This can give you a competitive advantage and make you more attractive to employers in your chosen field.
Finally, young adults should understand the importance of networking. Participating in professional associations, attending industry events, or getting involved in social media platforms can help them build connections that might open up opportunities for job placements or career growth down the line.
Living independently is an essential step toward achieving stability as a young adult. By focusing on financial management, securing a home, and developing a career path—all while seeking professional help when necessary—young adults can set themselves up for success and better life satisfaction.