The ability to support oneself is a paramount life skill for any functioning adult. However, despite the gravity of this skill, many (young) adults still struggle with it. Habits have a tendency to stick, especially in one's formative years of adulthood. A lack of preparation and necessary skills usually breeds bad habits which in turn engender downward spirals.
Moreover, individuals who lack the ability to financially support themselves often fall into common traps, such as debt, borrowing money, and failing to engage in productive behavior. Thankfully, hope is not lost; there are certain steps which can be taken, regardless of age or where someone may be in life.
Ultimately, there is always room for improvement.
Live Within Your Means
Someone who truly aspires to financially support themselves must first manage to
live within their means
, as affirmed by
. Sadly, this is a feat which many people struggle to accomplish, especially young people. The urge to have the nicest things, shop frequently, and otherwise live a life of extravagance are admirable, yet they must be earned.
The very first step of living within one's own means first entails learning the exact amount of one's monthly income. Having a specific number not only allows the individual to assess exactly how much money they earn, but it also allows them to put together a budget.
In turn with putting a budget together should come adding up one's expenses (such as phone bills, rent, utilities, groceries, etc) and then subtracting monthly expenses from the aforementioned budget. After these steps are completed, the individual can then determine exactly how much money they have left to save or devote towards extra activities, such as shopping, going out, etc.
Save! Save! Save!
Second to living within one's means, saving money is absolutely paramount. This manner of preparation is even more critical for very young people who are just starting off in life. Having a budget is excellent. Being aware of monthly income and expenses is also great. However, the ability to save money always comes in handy, regardless of how old you are or where you are in life.
Mistakes happen. Accidents happen. Unforeseen occurrences happen. Without funds put aside as a financial cushion, an unexpected emergency can have serious ramifications. Therefore, putting a certain amount or percentage aside from each payment is strongly advisable. Many experts refer to this behavior as "paying yourself first." Not only does saving money assure that the individual at hand will not have their life turned upside down by unforeseen occurrences, but knowing that extra money is put to the side can also provide a psychological sense of security.
A Final Word
Financially supporting oneself is a process. This process requires time, life experience, and money. At the end of the day, most individuals do wind up finding their way and settling into a routine which works for them. However, living within one's means and having a comfortable amount of funds stashed aside always has merit. You can never go wrong by following these steps.
Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal