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Becoming an adult comes with significant responsibilities, most of which revolve around learning to provide for yourself. Greater autonomy with your money can create pressure without a plan in place to help guide your choices. Taking care of yourself financially is more than just securing a place to live and paying bills. Taking on new responsibilities can be overwhelming – who has the time to work, take care of themselves, have a healthy social life, and figure out the appropriate insurance policies? It can feel like a never-ending to-do list, but it doesn’t have to be that way. These few simple shifts in how you approach your finances can help create greater ease. 

Laying the Groundwork:

Adulting can be challenging, especially if you weren’t taught the skills to be successful with your money growing up such as learning to budget, save, and prioritize spending. 

Finding Your Purpose: 

It is easy to say you want to get your finances in order, everyone does, but it is not always easy to follow through on that intention. To begin this endeavor, you must find the reason. Think about your family and goals – what makes life worth living? Do you have a desired lifestyle? Hold on tight to your reason. Getting a handle on your finances can be challenging so it is important to remember your reason for taking on this challenge and use it to persevere. 

Look At Where You Are: 

The key to change is to be willing to see where you are and the direction you are heading. Be neutral, and don’t judge yourself even if you don’t like what you see because you’re taking steps to get where you want to be. Consider things like how much you spend, your income, how much you have saved and where, and what you owe on loans or credit cards. Looking at these things can allow you to budget more effectively and calculate your net worth.

Determine Where You Want to Be: 

Begin thinking about your goals – What do you want life to look like? How would that change in retirement? Consider both long-term goals like retirement, and short-term goals like buying a new car, saving for a down payment, or taking a dream vacation. 

Make Your Plan:

Once you have defined your goals, you can start determining the steps it will take to achieve them. Some of these steps could include tracking spending to create a more intentional budget that gives more space for savings goals, automating contributions to an emergency fund or retirement account, or increasing debt payments.

Creating an intentional plan can help you become a financially responsible adult by defining how you can use your money to support the life you desire to experience. It can be a daunting task to do on your own, but reaching out to a financial advisor can help. They can support you in crunching the numbers and determining realistic timelines to meet your goals.