Your twenties have the potential to be the best years of your life but don’t have too much fun and forget that real life still goes on after that. Whilst you’re young and just starting out is the best time to incorporate good money habits that will become the foundation of your financial status in the years to come.
Learn everything there is to know about money. They don’t teach you how to manage your finances in Uni and so you need to take extra steps to invest in wealth mastery courses or just books. Do the best you can today and start building good money habits, learn the basic principles of money management.
You have to save
Set up a high interest savings account and set a standing transfer to your savings account monthly. I released myself from the ‘I don’t have enough’ mindset and started working with what I have which resulted in me saving a lot of money. You don’t have to be making $5000 to save, from whatever amount you make determine a percentage that works for you and save that. Every dollar you save today is a step further towards financial freedom and a better quality of life tomorrow.
Once you’ve mastered saving, the next step is investing. I recently started investing and excited to reap the fruits in the future. Think of investing as your retirement plan too! Again, there is no amount too small. Most banks have financial advisors, visit your bank and find out what the options are based on your income and lifestyle. If you feel ‘eerky’ about investing, then consider investing in yourself, for one year the money I made went towards my Masters tuition and today I have an MBA to show for that investment.
I used to be one of those girls who was shy to negotiate or ask for discounts, now I am the queen of them. Living in an expensive city has made me realise that I have to utilise every single chance possible to save money and really culture good money habits. Call your cable, mobile plan or home broadband providers and ask for ways in which they can discount your bill, most of them have customer retention initiatives and can give discounts to retain and keep you from going to their competitors.
Take your credit score seriously
All the major purchases you will want to make in life – housing, car etc will require a credit score. Get a credit card, use it and pay off the debt. A credit score determines your likelihood to repay borrowed money and ranges from 300-900, a score of 600 is safe and 900 would be the best. Some ways to improve your credit score include only utilising 20-30% of the credit limit and making at least the minimum payment each month. I have reminders set on my mobile and office outlook calendars reminding me of when my payments are due.
Constantly try increase your income
Are you working corporate? Slay your targets and ask for a raise during your next review. It’s so important to know your worth and ask for it. The next common way is to find a side hustle- I think everyone has a side hustle these days! Work in a restaurant, start a blog, take online surveys, just find something to do (legally of course) to make additional income. It’s always better to find something you really enjoy doing then monetise it, for example if you like dogs why not become a paid dog walker? Your side hustle can one day become your full time job so think about it and start something.
Memories Vs. Material
When spending your money think about what is important to you. Personally memories are more important and as I almost reach 30, I’m asking myself why didn’t I travel more or do this or that more. I have friends however who are more satisfied with the luxury purses and shoes they have accumulated over the years. There is really no right or wrong just think about what is important to you and spend more of your money on that.
Quality Vs. Quantity
Cheap is expensive! This topic has been debated for ages but I am of the school of thought that most items should be quality and then some items can be compromised on. If you have a good quality coat then you only need 1. What is the point of buying a cheap pan that you have to replace in 2 months once the paint starts chipping? Go to the Dollar store for certain things but do visit the department store for others.
Above all, enjoy your twenties but make sure you live within your means and avoid lifestyle inflation that will result in you being broke or in debt by the time you’re 30. I would like to read about some of the good money habits you’ve learnt over the years in the comments section.
Stay positive always!