Young, Broke, and Thriving: 22 Budget Tips You Can’t Miss!

When you are young, that is the best time to make smart money moves to get you on the path to financial independence and freedom. The younger you are when you start taking real control of your finances, the better.

Best Frugal Tips for Young Folks

Woman holding dollars.
Image Credit: DmitryPoch via

Someone asked, “I’m 24, and I’m wondering what are some good frugal tips to give to someone my age?”

Here are some of the top responses

Answers have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Learn To Cook Well

young man cooking
Image Credit: AlexLipa via

” Learn to cook well enough that you won’t feel deprived if you cook most of your meals at home instead of eating out regularly,” said one person.

This is a great idea! There are such great recipes you can make cheaply and easily and you will save so much money (and it’s usually healthier)

Look Where You Are Spending

young woman holding up money with shocked expression
Image Credit: via

“Take a good hard, and honest look at where you spent your money last month. Are there any surprises? Pick 1 or 2 problem areas in your spending and investigate ways to be frugal there.

When I was your age, I spend a lot of my money going out. Booze, dining out, etc. There are easy ways to cut back on spending there,” wrote one person.

Really being intentional with your spending and knowing where your money is going is a great way to make sure you spend money on what is important and don’t just waste money.

Partner Well

Portrait of young perfect couple lying down
Image Credit: AnnHaritonenko via

“The wrong spouse can ruin your finances faster than anything else. Be smart with who you date. Talk to them about money before you get married. Find out about how much debt they have. Make sure you both have similar values around saving and spending,” wrote one person.

One of the biggest decisions you can have is who you partner with. Choose wisely.

Save Money

smiling woman in yellow sweater putting coins in piggy bank
Image Credit: tommaso1979 via

“Have a savings account. Put some in every check. Life happens, and you need to be ready. Proper money management is important,” someone wrote.

Save money as early and as often as possible!

Do a Sport

Attractive girl standing against wall and throwing up ball
Image Credit: VitalikRadko via

Someone gave a suggestion that seems counterintuitive.

“Go ahead and splurge on your favorite sport. A lot of people in their mid-twenties become sedentary. It seems like there’s always next week to go to the gym or to take that hiking trail until your knees give out because you haven’t been taking care of yourself. Then the medical bills pile up, and the fitness options narrow down. Don’t let that be you. Figure out which activity you love best and compromise elsewhere in the budget. An investment in yourself is worth it,” someone wrote.

An interesting idea! Living your best life is sure to pay off in the long run!

Open a Roth IRA

young curly girl posing isolated over yellow wall background holding credit card and money
Image Credit: Vadymvdrobot via

“Open a Roth IRA. Fund it as best you can. Future you will be so grateful. I wish ANYONE had suggested this to me when I was younger,” someone said.

If you can max out your Roth IRA, or even just put a few dollars in, when you are young, you will have much success later in life.

Another person commented, “If you can manage to hit the annual maximums on a Roth, you’re {winning} it. It’s hard to do but a great goal. Every dollar you save today is worth more than every dollar you save tomorrow, so it’s better to build these funds up as quickly as you can.”

Resist Peer Pressure

displeased disgusted young girl with straight brown hair grimacing
Image Credit:
deagreez1 via

One person wrote that the hardest thing when they were in their 20s was resisting peer pressure.

“At that age, my biggest budget buster was peer pressure.

“Let’s go out for dinner for Jen’s birthday. And order bottles of wine, steaks, and appetizers ‘for the table,’ and split the bill evenly; even though you had a sandwich and iced tea, we’re going to give you major stinkeye if you don’t chip in.” Nope, skip those budget-buster dinners and meet everyone for a drink afterward.

“I’m getting married! I’d like you to be in my wedding; you’ll need to buy this 0 outfit, pay to get primped, chip in on a bachelor/ette trip to Miami, shower gift, engagement gift, wedding gift…” Nope, set expectations early or decline to be in the wedding.

Of course, you don’t want to be a social outcast but encourage your friends to spend less money and don’t let friends pressure you into spending too much money.

Take Care of Your Teeth

Playful Young Woman Holding Toothbrush in Bathroom
Image Credit: racorn via

Brushing teeth is a pain, and going to the dentist is a bummer, but not doing that will be worse!

One person wrote, “Take care of your teeth. Regular cleanings may seem expensive in the short term, but you can’t live with tooth pain, and fixing a tooth problem is expensive.”

Find Other Ways To Socialize

Upset male taking selfies while his mates cuddling at background
Image Credit: yacobchuk1 via

Drinking and partying isn’t the only way to hang out with your friends! There are lots of inexpensive activities you can do with your friends.

“Don’t be tricked into the money suck of going out to drink and socialize with friends all the time. Find other ways to socialize, even if it means hosting social drinks at your place. You can spend $14 on a mix drink or a glass of wine and get an entire bottle at the store for that much. You very quickly pour a whole grocery bill into a night out. If you make it a regular thing with friends then not only is it expensive, it’s expected. They will always want to go out because you all have always gone out. Mix it up. Establish other social activities at other places, both with and without alcohol. You can have a social life, just on different terms,” someone wrote.

Invest in Yourself

Happy Fashion beautiful woman hand holding dollar money
Image Credit: Jcomp via

Someone wrote, “Invest in yourself. Which means that you should continue to learn new things, exercise, and eat healthily.”

What great advice!

Plan Out Your Purchases

Successful shopping. mature man looking casual in surprise with present
Image Credit: stetsik via

“Think out your purchases. Understand that many things you buy have a cost of ownership that exceeds the initial purchase price or monthly payments, and make sure you can afford those additional costs. Live within your means and avoid lifestyle creep,” someone wrote.

This is one of the best frugal living tips! Make sure you aren’t committing to large monthly payments that will keep you in a spending trap.

Learn How To Do Maintenance

Modern luxury car close-up
Image Credit: Photocreo via

“Learn to do all your own vehicle repairs and maintenance if you own a car. Don’t keep buying new cars throughout your life,” someone wrote.

Another added, “Just replaced the alternator on my son’s truck last night. I was quoted $1000 at a garage. We did it for $360 taxes in.”

YouTube can help you find videos teaching you how to fix almost anything!

Take Care of Your Stuff

woman wearing gloves for cleaning dancing happily
Image Credit: Surgay via

There are items that can last for a long time if you take care of them properly!

“Start learning how to properly take care of your stuff,” someone wrote. You won’t need to keep replacing items if you keep them in good shape.

Enjoy the Outdoors

couple hiking in forest
Image Credit: Maridav via

“Start enjoying the outdoors! I was part of several outdoorsy clubs at uni and made friends there, so a large proportion of my social circle loves spending time outside. Walking, biking, running, inline skating, picnics in the park, swimming in the lake nearby, taking a trip to the mountains close by, etc are all extremely fun things to do and are very low cost. It’s definitely cheaper than hanging out with the going out & drinking crowd, though I did my fair share as well,” one person wrote.

I love this tip! Being outside is so good for you, and you will save money by doing activities outside rather than going to expensive bars or restaurants.

Live Like a Student

Young university graduate woman isolated on pink background smiling
Image Credit: luismolinero via

“When you get your first ‘career track’ job, if you haven’t yet, avoid splurges. Continue living like a student until you have a decent handle on how much you’re actually making – it often seems like a large amount of money, but if you immediately lead a fancy lifestyle you start noticing it isn’t actually that much after all,” someone wrote.

Start off cheap and very slowly increase your spending if necessary. This is a good way to avoid lifestyle creep.

Cheap Home Decor

Man resting in bean bag chair
Image Credit: ArturVerkhovetskiy via

Are you getting your first apartment or flat? Follow this advice to save money on home decor!

“When you’re settling into a bigger flat or start living alone, really think about what you need in your flat vs. what is just there to fill the space. Will you actually use the gigantic entertainment system, or is that just what most people have in their living room, so you feel like that’s what you’re supposed to have? Do you actually need a ton of shelves that you then fill up with books and knick-knacks? Or is a nice framed poster on the wall completely sufficient and just as decorative?” someone advised.

Go Reusable

red-haired woman wearing green shirt and carrying recycling bag with paper
Image Credit: kues via

“Go reusable. Think about using cloth bar towels instead of paper towels. Cloth towels will last years and will more than pay for themselves. Reusable Water bottles and reusable Coffee cups. You can buy silicone or PEVA bags instead of disposable ziplock bags. As long as you take care of them, they last so long. Check out Zero Waste groups for all types of reusable items that will last,” someone said.

This is a great habit that will help you save money and will also help the environment!

Buy Quality

Asian Woman trying clothes in shop mirror
Image Credit: Kzenon via

If you can afford it: buy quality to make it last longer. Not only will this save you money, but it is the more ethical way to consume items.

Someone explained how they do it, “Join a (BIFL) Buy It For Life group. Buy high quality the first time instead of rebuying later. Even something as simple as buying a can opener can cost way too much money. I have a friend who will buy at Dollar General and go through about 3 can openers each year. But if you take all the money from those three, you can buy one that will last 20 years or more. Take cast iron pans. They last hundreds of years, but a cheap non-stick skillets might last less than a year. You may not think about it, but those cheap purchases will add up tremendously over time.”

Live Small

Couple buying their new house
Image Credit: stockasso via

“Don’t be afraid to live tiny, ” someone wrote,  “When hunting for a place to live, don’t be afraid to just take a smaller place. I know that when people move, friends will often ask “how many square feet.” Don’t worry about that; worry instead if you can be comfortable there. Large places are more expensive to heat and cool, and you have to buy more furniture to keep it from feeling empty. Take inspiration from the Tiny House movement.”

Own Your Cheapness

Man in white shirt holding money box
Image Credit: outsiderzone via

“Don’t worry about how others view your lifestyle. That was my problem initially; if you’re cheap, own it. Don’t get pressured into going out or ordering above your means or limits because of what others will think,” someone said.

Just make sure your cheapness isn’t negatively affecting someone else!

Buy Secondhand

woman going Vintage shoe shopping
Image Credit: gabriel11 via

You can buy many great items secondhand, save money, and help reduce consumption!

Someone wrote, “Never buy new, full price clothes. Buy clearance twice a year. And/or buy clearance Plato’s closet twice a year. I spend around $100 per year on clothes for myself. I do the same with my baby now. I just buy future sizes for her. And avoid credit but if you get a card (credit is necessary these days) NEVER buy what you don’t have in cash. Never ever spend more than what you have. Evvvvvverrrrrrr”

Know the Difference Between Cheap and Frugal

funny guy holding money
Image Credit: SuperStock2018 via

Someone wrote a good life lesson for everyone to keep in mind, “Know the difference between being cheap and being frugal. In the end, being frugal will save you money and build good habits that you’ll carry with you through life, even after you make more money. But being cheap might actually cost you more money in the long run and could possibly ruin friendships/relationships.”

10 Crazy Myths About Women Men Actually Believe

The beautiful girl at a car wheel
Image Credit: belarry via

In our society, many myths and stereotypes exist about women. Unfortunately, some men still believe in these myths, even though they have been debunked time and time again. Here are some of the crazy myths that men believe about women.

10 Crazy Myths About Women Men Actually Believe

10 Insanely Frugal Things Most Frugal People Admit To Doing (And Why They Work!)

Washing hands with soap to prevent germs, bacteria or viruses
Image Credit: alexraths via

Looking to take your frugality to the next level? We’ve gathered the top 10 super frugal things that most frugal people admit to doing to save money. Even if you are very frugal you can probably learn from these ideas!

10 Insanely Frugal Things Most Frugal People Admit To Doing (And Why They Work!)

10 Things Everyone Takes For Granted That Could Disappear Tomorrow

Bearded man concentrated with suitcase in water
Image Credit: serniukphoto via

In our bustling lives filled with routines and daily distractions, we often overlook the precious aspects of our existence that we consider permanent fixtures. We take for granted comforts and conveniences that surround us, failing to recognize they might disappear.

10 Things Everyone Takes for Granted That Could Disappear Tomorrow

Boomers Said It First: 30 Opinions We’re Finally Ready To Admit They Were Right About

Baby Boomer with his Tie Dye T-Shirt, Thoughtfully Looking up
Image Credit: oocoskun via

Every generation has its differences and its conflicts. There has been a lot of talk about what Boomers and Gen X, Millenials, or Gen Z DON’T Agree on, but there are a lot of things that THEY do agree on!

30 Boomer Opinions That We Actually Agree With

Money-Saving Secrets From The Great Depression: Frugal Living Tips From The Great Depression That Are Relevant Today

Vintage Street Peasant Boy In Flat Cap Eating Baked Beans From A Can In A Depiction Of The Great Depression
Image Credit: jorgophotography via

How frugal were people during The Great Depression? It was a time of hardship and uncertainty and a time when people were forced to be extremely frugal.

Money-Saving Secrets from the Great Depression: Frugal Living Tips from the Great Depression That Are Relevant Today



This post originally appeared on A Dime Saved. 


Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.