An integral part of successful adulting is building positive money habits. Here’s how to do it.

7 Money habits to start building in your twenties

Your twenties are an age when everyone will tell you what to do. The only problem is the advice is likely to be contradictory. Should you party hard, travel the world and discover yourself (because #YOLO), or work hard, get married, and build a life for yourself? 

Well, the answer is… do whatever you truly want. There’s no right or wrong way when it comes to living your life. There is simply one thing you must keep in mind in your twenties, no matter what you do: manage your money well. 

Here are 7 fruitful money habits to build in your twenties so that you’re financially sorted by the time you turn 30.

1. Travel only when you can afford it 

Travelling is a beautiful experience, but #wanderlust on social media can pressurise you to travel in your twenties even when you don’t have the funds for it. Many financial institutions promote personal loans with high-interest rates as ‘travel loans’, but these are just debt traps if not managed well. Wait for a few months to save up but avoid taking a travel loan.

2. Track and review financial behaviour 

Sticking to a budget (just a basic list of all your expenses and income), tracking your expenses using a money management app, and reviewing your financial behaviour can go a long way. Such habits can help you understand how you manage money, give you a sense of control, and increase your savings. These savings, in turn, can be used to travel, invest in assets, etc. 

3. Have more than one source of income

While a 9-to-5 job may be your major source of income, it shouldn’t be your only one. You can capitalise on your skills and time, and take up side projects or freelance work. For instance, if you love baking, you could set up an Instagram page and take orders for cupcakes in addition to holding your day job. 

Related: 4 Ways to create additional sources of income

4. Invest in experiences 

Picture a wardrobe full of high-end clothes. Now, picture learning a foreign language, taking a ski course in Gulmarg, cooking Japanese cuisine, exploring Bali, and a bunch of other cool experiences. Investing in material things may give you instant gratification, but it’s investing in experiences and skills that will add value to your life.

5. Learn how to negotiate 

First, know your worth. Second, ask for what you want. Women often lack a sense of entitlement that comes naturally to most men. Don’t decide for yourself that the answer is going to be no. Ask for that promotion, apply to that college for your higher education, and advocate for yourself. Negotiating is a skill that will benefit you in both your professional and personal life. 

Related: 6 Money habits to stop right away!

6. Take risks for rewards 

Success comes to those who take risks. If you continue doing the same thing, you’ll keep getting the same results. If you want to get more out of life, you will have to take risks – such as starting your own business, switching job roles, investing in mutual funds instead of fixed deposits, etc. But remember, blind faith or mere planning isn’t going to get you there. You have to be both strategic and intuitive. 

7. Learn to strike a balance

Which do you think is better? Splurging on everything your heart desires or saving all your money? Well, the answer is neither! One needs to strike a balance. While failing to save any money is imprudent, not allocating any space in your budget for hobbies and desires is like depriving yourself. Don’t forget that you work hard so you can live a good life.

Related: What does your zodiac sign say about your money habits? 

Building these positive money habits will stand you in good stead in your twenties, irrespective of what your goals are. They will also help build a strong and stable financial foundation for your thirties so that you’re ready to take on the new decade and everything it throws at you! Read this interesting piece about frugal money habits the world’s richest women swear by. 


How I did it

Praveen Nair

Ever since I retired, I have looked forward to the festive season with added zeal. It is the buzz that I need once in a year in my laidback post-retirement life. I like to celebrate the occasion, get the house painted or renovated, buy gifts for my dear ones or go on a vacation. These things… Read more

Swati Mehra

A couple of years ago I was over the moon after landing my first job. I celebrated regally during the festive season that ensued, only to land in a financial soup for the next few months. With gargantuan credit card bills and barely any cash left, I had no other option but to default the payment… Read more

Rohansh Pathak

It is highly unlikely that all the expenses made during the festive season were worth making in the first place. This is the time of the year when unavoidable expenses are bound to upset your budget plans, and you can do little about it. However, I have made it a point to have a look at the… Read more

Shubhra Banerjee

I am a single mother of one. I lost my husband just 5 years into my marriage. Life has been a struggle for me, but I have managed it and today I have no complaints. 

I was a young widow with a 3 year old son when my husband passed away due to a heart attack. My parents were my rock… Read more