Frugal Tips for Young Adults – Thrifty Living Ideas

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Are you a young adult that is trying to make your way in the world but you want to make sure that you are being smart with money? Here are some of my best frugal tips for young adults!

Are you a young adult that is trying to make your way in the world but you want to make sure that you are being smart with money? Here are some of my best frugal tips for young adults!

Frugal Tips for Young Adults

Right now there is a whole new group of young adults that are ready to join the adult world. It’s a little bit of a scary thought isn’t it? I get it…the adult world is a bit scary!

As a young adult (and a young married adult at that!), I made plenty of mistakes with money. The only reason that I’m thankful that I did is because I can share them with you now so that perhaps you won’t make the same mistakes.

I know that it can be hard to listen to someone else’s advice since I’m sure you know your own life pretty well. But trust me, just read through these ideas and if they help, wonderful, if not, perhaps you learned you are already great with money!


Thrifty Living Ideas for Young Adults

Don’t Get a Credit Card

Don’t buy into the idea that you must have a credit card to start building credit. Having a credit card when you are young is too much of a temptation to be worth anything you might gain from it.

Instead, focus on creating a great budget that works well for you and begin working on a hearty savings account if you haven’t already. Practicing those skills as early on as possible will set you up for a much better future.

–Try setting up a budget, even for an Irregular Income.

Maintain Your Car – Even If It’s Junky

You don’t need a car to impress anyone at this age, or at any age for that matter! Find a car that does exactly what it needs to do, get you from point A to point B. That is the entire purpose of a car! It’s hard to get sidetracked when there are much fancier cars driving around or when friends are able to get their parents to buy them a car that seems much better than yours, but that’s just why it’s so important to focus only on what you know you need.

And don’t forget to maintain your car as well and as often as you can to keep it running at tip-top shape, even if it looks like it’s about 100 years old. As long as the maintenance bills aren’t higher than the value of the car itself (or what you could buy a new car for), it’s worth it to keep up the maintenance.

Blue Apron Steak Meal Kit Service

Stop Going Out to Eat

It seems that, especially when we are young, we fall into the trap of going out to eat too often. It’s ok to have a special treat once in a while to reward yourself for a job well done, but it shouldn’t be a regular occasion by any means.

Cook for yourself at home and take a little time to learn how to prepare foods just the way you like them. You could even take a free cooking class from the comfort of your own home!

Really consider what the cost per meal is when you are going out to eat and then do the math to compare it to the cost of a meal made at home. Then figure out how much money you could save that week if you chose to eat from home instead of going out.

Take a Finance Class For Adults

You may have taken a finance or budgeting class in high school, but be sure and take an adult class as well.

Dave Ramsey classes are a great way to start and might be the only finance class you will need to take unless you are looking for something more specific in the future. Check around to see if anyone is hosting a class near you and if you can’t afford the class, be sure and ask if there are any scholarships available.

–Here are some tips on Budgeting for Beginners.

Start an Emergency Fund

You won’t ever regret having some kind of emergency fund, even if it’s hard to get to the amount you’d like it to be. Set a goal for a good emergency fund dollar amount ($1000 would be a good minimum) and put aside a little from each paycheck in a savings account that you know is untouchable.

Don’t use that savings account for anything besides emergencies and make sure that whatever you use it for is considered a true emergency. Having your car break down would be an emergency. Needing a new top to wear when going out with friends is not an emergency.

–Trying saving Money in a Jar!


Spend Money on Travel – But Travel Inexpensively

I don’t want you to think that you shouldn’t have a little bit of fun with your money. Now when you are young and single is a great time to try out some new things that you might not get a chance to down the road. When you are able to, take the time to travel.

The thing with travel is that it can be as frugal or as expensive as you want it to be. Look up some ideas on frugal travel (here’s how we travel for next to nothing) and have fun planning your next adventure, even on a limited budget.

–Get more Frugal Travel Tips here.

The Dollar Store is Your Friend

The local Dollar Store can be a treasure chest if you are looking for the right things! Don’t forget to check out your local store to see what things that you’ve already been buying elsewhere that you can get cheaper there.

A whole cart full of things can be under $25, just make sure you are only buying things that you really need and not spending excess money on things that no one ever needs.

–Here are some things I like to get at the Dollar Store.

Start Good Lifestyle Habits Now

Now is the time in your life when you are going to set habits that you will either continue throughout your life, or you will find very difficult to break later. Be sure and be aware of the lifestyle habits you are creating for yourself.

If you want to live a frugal lifestyle so that you always have money for the things you need, start now. Another good habit to get into is to use your money to buy quality items and not junk. You might have to save up for them for a little while, but in the end, you will spend much less on the item than if you bought something cheaper and had to continually replace it.

You are in a wonderful time of your life, use it wisely! I hope that you find these tips and ideas helpful so that you won’t make the same mistakes that I did when I was just starting out life as an adult. Happy Budgeting!

What would you add to this list of frugal tips for young adults?

Merissa Bio

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    1. Great advice here!! I’m going to share this with my granddaughter who is only 9 but she needs to read this and be reminded of this info.

      OH!! I just received your book I ordered from you and I can’t wait to read it.
      I did page through the E-version of it but I like to hold it in my hand a read a good book! LOL

  1. Great post for those who are just starting out! I am thankful that my parents taught me at an early age the value of saving even a small amount. Save 10% (or more if you can) of whatever money comes your way, be it from work, a birthday gift, or payment from something you sold and watch the magic of compound interest work on your savings.

  2. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you’ve said. One thing that I might suggest under good lifestyle habits, is to not look down on second-hand. We’ve bought wonderful furniture, clothing, really nice dishes and cookware, holiday decorations and household items for pennies on the dollar. Things we never could have afforded otherwise. Likewise, hand me down items from parents, friends and family who are “upgrading”. The older items are usually so much better made. 🙂

  3. Great article for everyone.
    Being conscious of how you spend everyday in the long run eases a crisis. Keep up your blog and newsletters

  4. I agree with everything except buying at the dollar store. Why support China’s economy while businesses in Canada and the United States go bankrupt? I refuse to buy anything made in China.

    1. There are many things that are made in the USA that are sold at the dollar store, you’d just have to check on the package to see the country of origin.

    2. Many of the same products you buy at the grocery store is at the dollar store. For example, one of the major brand US made shampoo had upside down labels at my dollar store. Keep your mind open and you will find plenty non-China made items. You can also try more than one dollar store.