The sheer number of us that have graduated from high school without actual knowledge of managing our finances, is insane. You’re in your 20s, trying to figure the world out, and suddenly you’re forced to deal with taxes, student loans, and rent. Don’t even get us started on the costs of entertainment and grocery shopping! It’s a tough life. But believe us or not, it doesn’t have to be that way. Achieving financial freedom in your 20s isn’t an insurmountable task. And most of us are ready for it! There are some easy and practical ways to approach our financial situations. And, completely doable, even if you’re dealing with debt and just starting on your financial journey!

Living within our means is the first step to financial freedom.

This might seem like the most obvious piece of advice. But for many, it isn’t. Many of us have spent thousands of dollars on our credit cards, not realizing that instant gratification is just that. Instant gratification. It also comes with the added trouble of credit card interest and debt, most of which becomes a huge financial burden on those of us that can’t limit our spendings. And believe it or not, that’s a lot of us.

Living on a budget can be the best thing you can do for yourself, especially in your 20s. Life can be fun, without the extra spendings on a credit card!

Related: Out of the College, Into the Real World: Financial Tips to Start Saving Money

Managing whatever debt there is can help you get in control of your finances fast.

When you have decided to create a budget for yourself, and skip on the extra credit card spendings, try focusing on managing your debt. This means, cutting down on your daily spendings, and whatever you’re saving, putting that towards the debt that you might be dealing with. This could be your student loans, car debt, credit card debt, and anything else you may have borrowed in the past. Most people also recommend picking up a side gig to help with their bills when they’re trying to get off of their debt.

Related: Do Late Rent Payments Affect Your Credit Score?

Save and then save some more and take yourself to the financial freedom you’ve always dreamt of!

Being able to save is a highly nifty and wondrous habit that takes a lot of willpower to inculcate. Unless of course you’re one of those people who save first, breathe later. (We’re highkey envious). Your 20s is the best time to start saving. Honestly, it doesn’t even matter if you’re 28 and just considering saving. Something is truly, better than nothing.

Consider the money that goes into a savings account an essential part of your budget (tip: you can even make it automatic by diverting a monthly amount into savings). Start with an emergency fund and go from there.

Related: The Best Money Saving Apps In 2021 to Reach Your Finance Goals

Cultivating marketable skills and freelancing on the side can help you quickly catch up with any debt you might have.

Yeah we mentioned this one briefly before, but this really is an important one. When you have the time, learning a new skill that you can sell as a freelancer, is yet another way of looking out for yourself financially.

Many people learn how to write if they’re good with communications, do accounting if they’re quick with numbers, and design stuff if they’re artistically inclined! It’s all about finding the sweet spot between things you can do and like to do. Start from there, and watch yourself find new ways to beef up your savings!

Related: All You Need To Know About Finding Online Jobs And Freelancing

Gaining financial literacy and learning how to invest.

Most people, once they’re through their 20s, and thinking of the bigger picture, like marriage, and getting a house, find themselves wondering why they didn’t think about this same bigger picture before. Not all of us can be Youtube and TikTok famous in our 20s. (Though there’s no harm in trying!) And for those of us, it’s still possible to have a house before we reach our mid-30s.

Teach yourself as much as you can about things like investing. Open a Roth IRA, and allow yourself to reach the financial freedom that you often find yourself dreaming about. The earlier you start investing, the more money you will have down the road, thanks to the awesome power of compound interest.

Related: Handling Your Finances: A Beginner’s Guide to Investing

Establishing a good credit score.

This is where our advice is just the slightest bit more complex. Once you have accomplished most of the aforementioned steps, start thinking about keeping one credit card, that you only sync those payments with, that you know your paycheck will be able to cover.

A credit card can be one of the most effective ways to achieve financial freedom, but only if you pay off the balance each month. You can also get a small auto loan or other small obligation that you can make monthly payments on. This will help you in the future as you buy a home, and even as you look for good deals on auto insurance.

Related: How to Manage Financial Risks as a Young Entrepreneur

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