Money University

How to avoid getting into debt in your 20’s

The Growing Up Guide debt money advice credit cards budgeting savings loan bank

Getting better with managing money is usually a goal for people and it’s definitely an essential skill to have especially when you start ‘adulting’. The earlier the skill is acquired, the better for you.

Unfortunately, it tends to be easier said than done and can often seem dull but when done well it’ll literally pay off (no pun intended). When money isn’t managed well you may find yourself with no savings or even worse, in debt.

Being in debt can be an awful situation to be in but is often avoidable if the correct habits are formed. Hopefully these tips will help you avoid getting into debt.


Budgeting is key to avoid getting into debt. It can seem like such a dull task to do but it’s vital for keeping out of debt. It’s important that you’re aiming to spend less money than you earn over the majority of the year.

Luckily, it doesn’t have to be difficult as there are many apps such as Yolt. If you’re one for planners then make sure to check out some of our favourites!

Minimise borrowing

Don’t borrow more than you can afford! Sometimes you may require an item such as a car, but you don’t physically have the money in your account at the time so in situations like this, borrowing can be useful.

Borrowing money from official lenders can actually be beneficial if you can pay the money back on time as this will help your credit score but only if you know you can keep up with the regular payments.

Things to consider would be whether your monthly income would cover this payment and any other direct debits you may have.

Avoid credit cards

Credit cards are not a necessity if you can’t afford it. Again, they can be a good way to build your credit score but if you’re not making your payments on time, you risk damaging your credit score and getting into debt.

If you feel the need to have a credit card, make your payments manageable. For example, do your weekly food shopping with it but make sure to pay off the amount while it’s interest free.

Avoid comparison

Stop comparing. Comparison can cause a lot of people to get into debt. With everyone on YouTube and Instagram posting their latest purchases or holidays, it can definitely be difficult at times to not compare.

But it’s important to focus on yourself. If you’re making purchases and trips you can’t afford, you unfortunately will have to deal with the repercussions yourself.

Designer items are not a necessity. If you want the item, many shops in the high street offer dupes that are still very good quality and for a fraction of the price. It’s also important to remember that you don’t necessarily have to buy everything you like.

Resisting impulse buys is a vital way to avoid getting into debt. Be patient. Sometimes you may not have to buy that item immediately. Maybe you know a sale is coming or they tend to offer discounts.

If you know you can find it hard to resist temptation, then avoid putting yourself in such situations. For example, going ‘window shopping’ when you know you can’t really afford to buy anything but there’s a high chance that you will buy something.


Having a savings account is another important way to avoid getting into debt. It’s very useful for those months when you may have unexpected payments. If you have your own savings it prevents you from having to borrow money that you may then struggle to pay back.

For tips on saving money and ways to make your money go further, make sure to check out our money saving life hacks.



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