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Adulting 101: Key Skills for Managing Your Finances

The phrase “adulting” is a concept that includes a variety of topics, but managing your finances may well be the peak of adulthood. Even knowing that far too few environments actually teach children how to handle personal finance as they grow.

Thankfully, though, it’s easier than you might imagine to teach yourself the skills you need to manage your finances while taking a do-it-yourself approach.

image - Adulting 101 Key Skills for Managing Your Finances
Adulting 101 Key Skills for Managing Your Finances

Setting up a sort of Adulting 101 course for yourself can help you kickstart your financial situation and approach bills and budgeting more confidently as you take adulting in your stride.

Start with Where You Are

Before you can take the bull that is your finances by its horns, you need to know what it is you’re confronting. Begin by figuring out how your financial situation stacks up at this very moment. This means you must check those bank balances, open those credit card statements, and log in to your student loan provider’s website.

Those who are tackling their financial situation from the first date of adulthood may not have much to build upon but, for those who have bills, debt, or investments already, this step is crucial.

Even those who begin with a blank slate should be sure to check their credit score in order to ensure there are no detrimental factors mistakenly applied to your credit report.

Figure Out Where You’re Going

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Once you understand this starting point, you can dream about your ideal financial life. Ideally, how do you want your personal finances to look? What does a truly adult financial situation entail? For some people, this might mean investing in renters insurance to avoid going into debt while paying off existing balances.

For others, it may be making more than the minimum monthly payments on your debts while saving for a down payment. Whatever your financial goals look like, it’s important to identify them and really flesh out that visualization.

Make a Plan to Get There

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With your money dreams fresh in your mind, you can begin to reverse engineer your goals to create a plan that will guide you through this financial journey.

For instance, are you dreaming of a better interest rate or more affordable monthly payment on your auto loan? Take advantage of an auto loan calculator to test out potential scenarios and find the best rate for your particular goals.

Similar research methods can help you determine how to get from your current state to your ideal financial future.

Be Ready to Adjust and Pivot

image - Be Ready to Adjust and Pivot

No matter how painstakingly you plan a path to your financial goals, setbacks will happen. As frustrating as these challenges can be, they’re inevitable parts of adulthood even beyond your financial well-being. Like in any context, it’s okay to feel that frustration and experience these negative feelings.

However, it’s crucial that you continue through those emotions and adjust your plan accordingly. Rather than beating yourself up for not avoiding this struggle, give yourself grace and work to move past it.

Like with your initial plan, each step will depend on your unique situation. In any case, though, you’ll find there are resources to help you regain your financial footing.

Whether you’re just beginning your journey into adulthood or you’re trying to become a better adult, managing your finances is a crucial component of all things adulting.

From utilizing available resources to mitigating disasters before they happen, a solid financial plan can help you manage your budget and thrive in a financial sense. setbacks will still occur but, thanks to your research skills and careful planning, you’ll be prepared to bounce back with newfound gusto and get on track for your goals once more.