Prioritize Your Spending to Live with No Regrets

It isn’t just millennials—all generations can benefit from learning how to combat spending regret and learn how to avoid making purchases they only want, instead of truly need. A new NerdWallet survey revealed that 54% of America’s young adults who experience regret over personal spending say that food and beverage purchases are a major expenditure. 52% say that food delivery is to blame, and even 83% of Gen Zers say they also regret their personal spending habits. Here’s how to fight back against making frivolous purchases you’ll later regret:

Learn How to Prioritize

One issue younger people face is the social judgment that they should appear a certain way, attend certain events or have certain things. However, it is always best to spend according to your own values and priorities. If buying certain items means you’re spending above your means, that’s a problem—and you shouldn’t have to feel guilty about cutting costs and prioritizing your finances.

Create a Budget

Sit down and create a budget and put down on paper exactly what you’re spending each month on things like dining out when you could instead try eating at home. You’d be surprised at how quickly it all adds up! Various budgeting apps and tools are available to help make things easier, and banks also provide tools that can assist you. One of the best things you can do each month is to simply budget in an amount you’d like to pay toward your debts or savings each month and stick to it. That can help you balance out your discretionary spending while giving you a chance to progress toward your financial goals. You can also consider investing—yes, even at a younger age. The survey found out that 28% of Gen Zers thought investing for retirement isn’t something younger people should be concerned about. However, starting early is the best possible thing you can do—and your future self will thank you.

Reduce Your Spending

This might seem obvious, but the fact is that many young people spend more money than they make, which increases credit card debt. Living beyond your means can quickly lead to even bigger financial issues in the future if you don’t cut out unnecessary purchases and learn how to prioritize what you’re spending money on. If purchasing items you don’t really need is making it harder for you to pay bills or pushing you into debt, it’s time to reevaluate your spending habits.