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FINANCIAL CHECK-UP | Age 19 – Twenties

FINANCIAL CHECK-UP | Age 19 – Twenties

Saving in your twenties can be challenging. It’s hard to envision the future and when you may need funds for an emergency or if you cannot find the perfect job. Additionally, it can be difficult to save money when you are starting your career or if you have student loans. No matter what stage of life you’re in though, creating savings is important. This is a time when you probably finish your formal education and begin your career. At this time, you develop sound financial habits for a lifetime.

Financial decisions that you make in your 20s can affect your finances for years to come. That’s why it’s important to work on building healthy money habits. Developing good spending and saving habits, learning to budget, and investing while you’re in your 20s can help you prevent needless debt and you save in your future


YOUR TWENTIES| How much should you save?

The amount of money you should save is unique to your lifestyle. Ultimately, it will depend on how much you make, where you live, and what your expenses are like. You can reach savings goals by creating specific target amounts and dates.

Finding extra money can be possible. Start by looking at your weekly or monthly spending. You might find areas you can cut down on expenses to free up cash for saving. Even if it’s just a dollar a week, that is something. Finding extra money can be possible. Start by looking at your weekly or monthly spending. You might find areas you can cut down on expenses to free up cash for saving. Even if it’s just a dollar a week, that is something.



EMERGENCY FUND | An emergency fund is cash that you have in your savings that’s specifically set aside for unplanned expenses or financial emergencies. For example, you may need an emergency fund for unexpected car repairs, medical bills, or if you lose your job. The amount you need is dependend on your situation, but having at least three month’s worth of living expenses saved just in case is a good rule to live by. This includes mortgage or rent, car expenses, bills, utilities, and food. An emergency fund is one of the most important things you can establish in your twenties.

MANAGING YOUR BUDGET | Initially, figure out how much money you need to achieve your goal and focus on one thing at a time. All it takes to get started is a calculator, pen and paper, and a little time. Also, you can use Pearl Hawaii’s LIFE Manager to get you started. While working on your budget, figure out the interest rate of all of your loans and the minimum balance due each month.

With Pearl Hawaii’s LIFE Manager, you can manage your assets all in one place. LIFE (Loans, Investments, Finances, Earnings) Manager helps you link your accounts at other financial institutions so you can see the bigger picture. Overall, you can make transfers, view balances, and manage money more efficiently. Additionally, you can create a budget, plan out your life, assign accounts, add expenses or income, create goals, or monitor your progress, and spending habits. Log into PHFCUOnline and get started.


WATCH YOUR DEBT | Paying down your loans now will save you money in the future. From now on, before you buy new things, really consider if whatever you are buying is going to improve your quality of life. If you say no, consider if your spending habits are causing you a bigger amount of stress than it’s worth. Look for things you can cut out of your budget. Do you need to eat out daily? Perhaps you don’t need to buy clothes or coffee as frequently as you do. Also, perhaps you could downgrade from a $20 meal to a $10 meal. Eventually, you will have something that you value more than anything you can buy, which is financial freedom.

This may be challenging at first because certain things have become a habit and habits can often be difficult to change. The key here is to change your focus, the meaning you attach to these extras, or the feeling when you obtain these extras. For example, every time you purchase that morning coffee or $15 cocktail at dinner, remember you are taking away from that financial freedom that you have made a priority.

SAVING IN YOUR TWENTIES | The 52-Week Savings Challenge

Try the 52-week savings challenge! You will be surprised how much money you will save. With the 52-week savings challenge, building savings is easy and doable. Saving in your twenties may seem complicated, but can you do a few dollars here and there? First, you begin by saving $1 the first week of January, $2 the second week of January, $3 the next week, $4 the last week, $5 the next week, and so on while adding an additional dollar each week. If you do this for one year, you will have $1,378 at the end of the 52 weeks.


Unfortunately, when you have debt, it’s easy to fall into a pattern where you develop bad credit. The good news is that as you improve your money habits, your credit will also improve.

  • Make all of your payments on time (including your medical, loan, and utility bills). Bills that go unpaid may go to a collection department, which could seriously hurt your score.
  • Keep your charge card usage low. If you do carry a balance, don’t let it exceed 30% of your limit.
  • Avoid opening too many new accounts at once. New accounts lower your average account age, which makes up part of your score.
  • Keep accounts open for as long as possible unless one of your unused cards has an annual fee.
  • Check each of your reports annually for errors and discrepancies. You can get your free credit report yearly from Annual Credit Report.

Overall, repairing bad credit will take time and planning. If you want more help, consider talking to Pearl Hawaii’s loan officers who are trained in helping you. Remember, improving your standing won’t happen overnight. To learn more about credit reports and scores, check out Credit FAQs.









  • Establish credit and maintain a good payment record.
  • Live within your means.
  • Do not charge more than you can pay off in three months.
  • Set up an emergency savings fund, typically three to six months of living expenses.
  • Start learning about investing and establish an automatic savings program to reach your financial goals.
  • If you can, buy a home, or start saving for the down payment.
  • Take full advantage of a 401(k).
  • Make sure you have adequate insurance (life, home or renter’s, auto, health, disability, liability).





Are You Ready?

Overall, keep in mind that everyone’s savings goal and path are different. There is no right amount or correct way to save. Generally, what matters is what is right for you and what you are comfortable with.

It can feel overwhelming to sit down and plan your finances out, but it’s worthwhile. Doing so can help you prioritize your goals and allow you to know when and how to spend your time.

Setting a budget, creating financial goals, saving for your financial goals and retirement can set you up for financial security later in life. It’s better to start investing during your 20s instead of waiting, even if you don’t invest much each year, in order to take advantage of compound interest.

Also, create a habit of balancing your accounts regularly and checking your credit reports to avoid financial problems such as overdrawing or fraudulent purchases.






TEEN | 13 – 18











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Building trust, nurturing dreams, inspiring hope. From home or car loans to Hawaii’s most innovative banking services, Pearl Hawaii is committed to you. Bank at any of our Oahu locations in Waipahu, Ewa Beach, Waianae, Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, or near the Airport. Additionally, you can bank using PHFCUOnline just like one of our branches. To contact us, call us at 808.737.4328, toll-free at 800.987.5583, or email us at