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5 Proven Hacks How To Make Money While Having Fun In Your 20s

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how to make money while having fun

Being in your 20s is probably the most stressful time of your life. Fresh out of school and ready to make a career, you’re probably afraid of how you’ll enjoy your time. A lot of 20-year-olds feel pressured into making the most of their youth. In their eyes, it’s their last chance to be happy before they have to focus on their jobs or on other responsibilities.

However, there’s a secret that you need to know: you can still make money while enjoying your youth. It might sound impossible, but it can be done. The trick is knowing how you can start off on the right foot. Read on to find out how to make money while having fun and enjoying your 20s!

Wait, can I really make money in my 20s while having fun?

Some of you might still be skeptical about this idea. Perhaps you’ve seen a lot of people burn themselves out in making money. Or, you might know someone in your life who enjoys their time but barely maintains any cash. So, the question is, can you still have fun and make money at the same time?

The answer is a definitive yes. It might not be easy, but it is doable. With the right mindset, anyone can focus on building their finances now and in the next few years. Plus, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy your youth. The main problem is understanding what it means to enjoy your youth. You see, many people mistake the 20s as the best time to think “YOLO” or “You Only Live Once”. They think that because we only have one life, we should use it to explore and experience all that we can.

While we do only have one life, that’s not a good reason to spend all your cash or savings. The fact is that money is a part of your life and your future. There are ways to have fun and enjoy your time without losing tons of cash. For example, why should you be happy now and worry about retirement later? Wouldn’t you rather be happy and afford retirement now and in the future? Remember, being financially responsible and enjoying life doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive. With the right approach, you can discover how to make money while having fun.

Why is it hard to make money in my 20s?

If it is possible to learn how to make money while having fun, then why is it so tough? You might think that being young is the main reason. After all, adults at the ages of 30 and above seem to earn pretty well. However, it’s a lot more complicated than that. Here are five reasons why it’s tough to make money in your 20s.

You’re lacking financial know-how.

One reason why you’re finding it so hard to make money is a lack of know-how. You might not even be aware of all the important aspects of a salary. Sure, you understand profits and paychecks. However, do you know of income tax? Are you aware of retirement plans? Have you ever heard of a 401(K) or a Roth IRA? It can be difficult to learn how to make money while having fun when you don’t even know what to do.

If so, you’re not the only one in need of more information. According to a FINRA study in 2018, four out of five youths fail a financial literacy quiz. What’s worse is that the same study showed that people between the ages of 18-34 suffered a lot. They have the most significant drop in their ability to answer these questions, as opposed to those from older generations.

You’re worried about taking risks.

Making financial decisions isn’t as easy as it sounds. After all, you are deciding how your money will be handled. Even if it’s as simple as keeping 10% of your paycheck as savings, you might be worried that it’s too much. It’s hard to understand how to make money while having fun when you aren’t sure about the lengths you have to go through. A lot of people are afraid of how they’ll handle their expenses and if it’ll be the right plan. Whether it’s the amount of money saved or the investments they make, it causes them anxiety. In short, they’re worried that they are making rash or hasty choices.

The FINRA study showed as much, revealing that over 53% of adults found it stressful to think of their finances. One reason could be that they are afraid to make changes in their lifestyle. For instance, the same study showed that 78% of adults lived paycheck to paycheck. Perhaps the idea of saving a portion of their cash is hard to imagine. Because they’re used to using up all their earnings, they worry about being short changed if they try to save some amount.

You stopped caring about your expenses.

Ironically, a lack of fear could also be why you don’t know how to make money while having fun. The flip side of people being too afraid to invest is that they could also be too comfortable spending loads of it. Again, the YOLO lifestyle might delude you into thinking that you have to take every chance. If the chance to eat at an expensive restaurant or go to a lavish party shows up, you might jump up and say yes.

A study by Analytics IQ focused on the spending habits and financial patterns of Generation Z, the people born around 1996 and above. It revealed that they are three times more likely to make financially impulsive decisions. Whether that’s to invest or to spend their cash, people in their 20s might care more about spending at the moment than planning for the future.

You think that money can be gained quickly.

Some people mistakenly believe that money grows on trees. However, as silly as that is, there are even more who assume that money can be earned quickly. For them, a job can happen anywhere and it’s easy to start your own business. For example, Influencer Marketing Hub showed that over 53% of Gen Z work freelance. They might not be old enough to formally work, but they’re already making some kind of income.

Sadly, while freelancing can help you earn a decent amount, it’s no guarantee that money comes quickly. Even those with stable jobs have to learn how to manage their finances over time. If you take time to consider how much the living cost is these days, you might realize that your salary won’t cut it.  Remember, knowing how to make money while having fun also means knowing how to manage your cash effectively. So, do yourself a favor and remember that money doesn’t come easy. It takes effort and consistency to make a living.

You don’t think there’s a way out of your rut.

Sadly, one possible reason why you don’t know how to make money while having fun is hopelessness. Perhaps you’ve already given up and resigned to the idea that it’s impossible. You might’ve tried before and failed to save a certain amount or you missed out on fun experiences. If it’s happened in the past, what’s to say that it won’t happen again?

However, for all the statistics that you’ve seen, there’s one thing you must remember: it’s all in the mind. Spending habits, feelings of joy, and financial know-how all stem from your mind and how you use it. If you want to make money and have fun, consider it as a reality that can happen. You can do both and bring that dream into existence. What you need to do is put the effort into it. Once you see it as a possibility, you can start to learn how to make money while having fun.

How do I make money in my 20s while having fun?

By now, you’ve seen the different factors and mental traps that hold you back. It is possible to learn how to make money while having fun. So, what can you do to achieve that? Here are five ways you can start making money while enjoying your 20s!

1. Do the 50/30/20 rule.

Clinical psychologist Meg Jay once said the 20s is the best time to “claim your adulthood”. In other words, this decade of your life will determine your adult future. One of the best ways to make that future safe and stable is by saving early. The sooner you start to build up your savings, the greater your financial freedom and control will be. However, saving money is easier said than done. Some people struggle to make ends meet, especially when they’ve just started their careers. So, how can you save money and make a living simultaneously? Under these circumstances, it might seem impossible to know how to make money while having fun.

One method of controlling your money and expenses is the 50/30/20 rule. According to this rule, you should spend your income based on your needs (50%), wants (30%), and savings (20%). 20% of your weekly or monthly salary is a good amount of change to keep for the future. Plus, spending a third of your income on your wants leaves plenty of room to enjoy your life.

Of course, these numbers are just estimates of how you can build your fortune. If it’s still too hard to save 20% of your income, don’t be afraid to reduce it. What matters is that you start the habit of prioritizing your money’s purpose. Once you make saving a habit, you can increase those numbers when it’s time.

2. Schedule your expenses carefully.

Living in your 20s can mean a lot of hustle. Putting in the work can keep you busy as you navigate job options, living expenses, and other important needs. Because of that, you might struggle to make snappy decisions. For example, you could be hard-pressed to find time to pay your bills when you’re busy at work or in graduate school.

To make things easier on your end, consider scheduling your expenses. Put up reminders and dates on what to spend and what for. You can even make some decisions into habits to train yourself into a routine. For instance, you could set aside ten minutes each night to review all your expenses. This way, you can discover how to make money while having fun.

If you still have a hard time keeping this up, remember that technology is here to help. There are so many different apps that can help you manage your priorities and keep you alert. You could download budgeting programs to monitor your income and spending. With a handy app on your phone, you can see if you’re overspending and by how much.

3. Use your money to invest wisely.

If you look at the 50/30/20 rule, you’ll be able to find some amount for investing. Now, the word might sound scary or daunting to those unfamiliar with it. Investment is all about allocating your money in ways that help you grow and earn more. You can start out slow and simple with bonds, which are loans that you give out and get paid back with interest. Though some people question their value, bonds are safer and steadier options than riskier investments like cryptocurrency or stocks.

Another way that you can invest your money is through a retirement plan. Contrary to popular belief, you’re never too young to start planning for a post-career life. In fact, the sooner you start, the easier it’ll be to adjust and achieve what you want. So, even if you’re in your 20s, look into options like Roth IRAs or 401Ks. Remember, if you want to know how to make money while having fun, you have to examine your options early.

4. Be consistent with your spending and investing habits.

If you want to enjoy your 20s, there’s no reason that it has to be costly. Does everyone need to go on a fancy vacation or celebrate an epic birthday party? Not really. Of course, it’s still your choice at the end of the day. What does matter is that you know how to control and maintain your money. While some purchases can be heavy, the difference maker is your money habits.

Think of it this way: how much does it cost to park your car or get a cup of coffee to go? By itself, it’s probably not more than a handful of dollars. Now, can you imagine spending that amount every single day for the next few decades? Once you add that up, you actually spend a lot more than you realize. All that money can be cut out with some simple life choices, whether it’s getting cheaper coffee or using public transport.

Will this make such an impact that you become a millionaire? Not really. However, small gains can lead to a lifetime of success. Saving just $5 every single day can get you over $1800 by the year’s end. It’s not about making a big payoff, but about making the right and consistent choices. As long as you remember that, you’ll find it easier to plan for what you pay and how often you spend it. This can make it easier to build a life where you can learn how to make money while having fun.

5. Create goals for your habits and savings.

All that you’ve read so far can help you build money and enjoy life. Being conscious of what you spend and exploring your money options can lead to a payoff. However, if you want to make the most of it, always plan what you want your money for. Having a goal in mind is better than winning the lottery. Sure, a lucky ticket can get you loads of cash but it could all be spent in a couple of months. With goals, you can set aside your money to make it help you for the rest of your life.

Setting goals means knowing what kind of lifestyle you have and what future you want. It might seem tough to think of all those things in your 20s, though. So, to make it easier, focus on writing a handful of your most important money goals. You can divide these goals based on your timeline. Some can happen within the next two years, like moving out of the house or finding a new place to live. Some can take longer, like starting a business or settling down in a subdivision.

For example, you can put down three things that you want to achieve in the distant future. You could say that you want to own a house or start a family. Just those ideas alone can start you off on the path to making better money habits. In one fell swoop, you discovered how to make money while having fun and heading to the future. Whether that’s saving cash or investing in bonds, the choice is yours. 


  • Living in your 20s can be stressful, but it’s possible to make money while having fun.
  • The key is to find the right mindset and understand the importance of financial responsibility.
  • There are many challenges you face when making money in your 20s. These include a lack of financial know-how, the fear of risks, overspending, unrealistic expectations, and feelings of hopelessness
  • To make money while still having fun, you can start with these key strategies:
  • By taking control of your finances and setting clear goals, you can achieve financial stability and enjoy your 20s at the same time.

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