PEDESTRIAN.TV has partnered with eToro to help you get on top of your cash in 2021.

Being a young adult means that every one of your friends is at a completely different stage in their life.

At say 22, some of your mates might have started saving to buy their first home, while others are still slogging through uni, and some might have zero clue at all as to what they want to do with their lives. This also generally means everyone is at a way different financial stage in their life too, which can make talking about money a tad awkward.

It can suck especially if you fall into the category of Gen Zs/millennials who are perpetually ‘confused’ about finances, money and related future planning things – which is totally okay because damn, there are a lot of us. Money is a huge and at times intimidating can of worms to delve into, and when you’ve got pals who seem to have their finances sorted, it’s easy to fall into the trap of self-judgement.

I’m here to tell you that you do not have to get down on yourself – we’ve all got our own goals, and figure life out at our own pace and that’s entirely okay. Learning about how to get on top of your finances is a life-long journey, so we had a chat with Josh Gilbert of eToro about some of the small steps you can make to back yourself and your wallet.

Remember, people can ~embellish~ the truth

This may sound simple, but remember people ~love~ to gas themselves up. If you’re chatting with your friend group and one particular mouth-breather brags for hours about how much money his side-hustle tech startup is raking in, please ignore. I’m all for celebrating your wins, but stuff like that is simply unnecessary.

They’re probably insecure about something else and are overcompensating; their parents pay their rent and utilities, or, they’re actually just straight-up lying about how much they’re making.

Comparison is ugly and as humans, we’re so not immune to it – especially when we hear what we’re not, and all logic is thrown out the window.

Ease yourself into learning more

Getting a little more acquainted with the financial world is never a bad idea. We’re lucky to live in a time where all the info in the world is at our disposal, so if you’re looking to clue up on saving, budgeting, investing and more, it’s pretty simple really. Josh noted that staying up to date with the financial world by listening to podcasts, reading the news, and signing up for newsletters is a great place to consume focused and curated financial content.

“These steps can help you understand your finances better. There are also so many great books on how to manage finances as well as investing. If you have some spare time, it’s great to grow your knowledge,” said Josh. 

Create simple financial goals and set budgets that work for you

Considering we’re all at different financial stages in our lives, all of our money-related goals are going to be different too. Starting a budget and sticking to it is a great goal to start with to build your own confidence in managing your money slowly. Whether it’s setting a goal to only spend a specific amount on eating out a week, or throwing your buy-now-pay-later deets out the window for good, managing your ongoing and outgoing funds will help you get a bigger picture understanding of what your financial situation looks like.

“It sounds old school, but keeping a spreadsheet is great. It allows you to visualise all of your money and see exactly where it is all going,” said Josh. 

Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a better idea of how much money you can save and invest every month and still be able to live well. If you’re interested in learning more about the stock market, a platform like eToro that makes it super easy for users to get the hang of what its like to buy and trade shares with a mock portfolio. In other words, you can experience what it’s like before you decide to put skin in the game.

“Start with something you understand, invest regularly through micro-investing and diversify. Be sure to do your own research on what you’re investing in and continue to grow your knowledge,” suggested Josh.  

Ask a pro or someone you trust if you need a hand

Last of all, if you’re really feeling stuck, there’s absolutely no shame in asking someone you trust for help. Whether it’s an older (and wiser) fam member or an actual IRL financial professional, there’s no shame in getting a hand in devising a smart financial plan for yourself.

“If you don’t understand something, ask someone or a financial professional. There are so many great websites out there that can help you break down your finances as well as investing. Sites such as Investopedia can help you break down barriers to investing and understand the jargon,” suggested Josh. 

Remember, no one has ever gotten this stuff perfect overnight so go easy on yourself and try not to fall into the nasty hole that is self-judgement.

Image: Bridesmaids