Message to young people – It’s easy to get caught up in the fun of spending money when you’re just starting to enjoy your own income and independence, but it’s important to learn to say ‘no’ to yourself,” says Tina Hay, CEO and founder of Napkin Finance, a personal finance site. “Use your spending choices as a chance to express your values. If you’re a serious foodie, then maybe you’ll have a higher restaurant budget but spend less on clothes than your friends. If you want to travel the world while you’re young, you might need to learn to live frugally. Saying no to some experiences lets you say yes to others.”

But that goes far beyond cell phones, clothes, and restaurants. You’re young, yes, but it’s never too early to consider what you really want out of life. Is a four-year college the right move for you, or would you be just as a happy starting at a less expensive two-year institution and transferring later? Do you want to stay in your home town after you graduate, or move somewhere new? What are the living costs like there?

Thinking about all of these things ahead of time can give you clarity on what your priorities are and how much money you’ll need to accomplish them.




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