Imagine this: you’re 20-something and just getting started on a new job. You want to bear most of the domestic expenses for your parents, do your own groceries, and take public transportation to get to work. You also love to party with your friends, and have a credit card to pay for your shopping.
But there’s a catch: you only earn HKD$12,000 a month. How on earth are you going to last a month with that amount of money?
You have group dates and parties to go to, movies to see, dinner events to attend, shoes to buy! Then there’s your smartphone upgrade and your data plan, you also need a trip to the spa before you go on a beach trip with your college friends. Besides that, there’s also your credit card purchases and bills, that loan you took out so you can make a down payment for your apartment, and all the taxi rides you have to take just to get to and from work.
That’s a lot of expenses! How on earth are you going to manage all of that?
The answer is quite simple: budgeting.
A millennial’s lifestyle is different from that of Generation Y and the Baby Boomers. Based on that alone, our spending habits, lifestyle choices, and saving habits are also different from theirs. But when it comes to managing finances, there really is just one universal solution that is recommended for everybody: learn to budget your paycheck.
Budgeting Basics: Where to Begin?
One budget scheme that’s quite easy to follow is the 50-30-20, where you allocate 50%, 30%, and 20% of your monthly paycheck into specific expenditures and savings. This infographic can help you figure out how to make it work, and how to allocate your monthly earnings, so you can live the way you want to.
Remember, it takes a lot of discipline and self-control to follow a strict budget for better savings and more disposable income. In some cases, there are some sacrifices that need to be made to make way for the more important expenses—and for you to be able to save.
The earlier you start, the more you will have later on, and the more comfortable life will be. Show those old timers that you’ve got what it takes to make a budget and stick with it. Happy budgeting!
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