When you're young, making bad financial decisions kind of comes with the territory - whether it's investing your savings in a clunker that's perpetually in the shop or spending an obscene amount of money on lattes and pizza for those late-night cram sessions in college.
Fortunately, there are plenty of people out there who are willing to share about their own money mistakes and successes to help you avoid budgeting pitfalls. We recently checked in with one such young money blogger, Alexis Schroeder of FITnancials.
"I think many young people make mistakes regarding loans," she says. "Whether it be student loans or credit card debt, we tend to think that we will have time to pay it off later and young people tend to rack up a lot of loans early on in their life without thinking about the consequences."
The aspiring personal fitness trainer and nutrition specialist shares about her two passions - health and finance on her blog. Here she offers tips to other young people, who, like herself are trying to get a handle on both their waistlines and their bank accounts.
Hi, Alexis! Can you tell us a little about FITnancials? When and why did you start your blog?
I started my blog after my sister convinced me to start one. She has her own (www.makingsenseofcents.com), and she loves the time that she spends on it. I started my blog to help myself with fitness and finances as a way to track my journey and help others learn as I was learning.
I also wanted to show people that living the healthy lifestyle is possible and it doesn't have to be treated like a chore. You can be on a tight budget and still be healthy and happy. I love hearing people's stories on how they changed their unhealthy lifestyle to a happy lifestyle.
Who should be reading it?
I think anyone could read my blog. If you want to be healthy and/or better with your financials, then read FITnancials! I think talking about both being healthy and being better at your finances is something that most people want to strive for these days.
How did you become so passionate about health?
I used to be extremely unhealthy when I was younger, and I knew I had to make a lifestyle change. I am so much healthier now and I love life.
How has your journey to a healthier lifestyle intersect with how you manage money?
The two main things in my life that I'm always working on improving are being healthy and managing money. For me, it only made sense to work on the next thing in life - and that was managing my money better after I had being healthy more under control.
How has living healthy saved you money?
Living healthy has saved me money because now I really enjoy doing more outdoorsy activities -- such as hiking, bike rides, running and more, and all of that is free. I also try to make my own meals as much as I can, and that saves me a lot of money since I don't go to restaurants as often.
What are some of your favorite money-saving tips?
Some of my favorite money saving tips include having a budget and an emergency fund. Budgets are important because they help keep you on track to reach your money goals. Budgets also help you figure out where you might have spending problems.
Emergency funds are important because they take a lot of money stress out of your life. If something were to break your budget for the month (such as a job loss, cut in job hours, car repair, etc.), then you can fall back on your emergency fund.
What are the smartest decisions young people can make when it comes to money?
I think the smartest decisions that a young person could make include having a budget and emergency fund (as talked about above), and to also think a little bit harder before they take on any form of debt.
It can be tough for young adults just starting off in a career to put aside money. How do you find ways to save money?
I am always looking for different ways to save money. Right now, I am mainly working on doing more free things (such as being outside more), and working more so that I can earn more money and thus save more of it.