Your twenties are a time for self-discovery. It’s a time to discover what you want (and don’t want) out of life, and where you want to be. This goes hand in hand with figuring out how to manage your money.
For most of us, our 20′s are when we start actually making some money, and with that comes the decisions of what to do with your cash and where it best belongs. Like all things, there will inevitably be some mistakes along the way. We have all taken some wrong turns when it comes to money, but that’s to be expected when you’re just starting out.
In order to limit those mistakes and save on a lot of headaches along the way, here are some important money lessons you should definitely follow:
Ways to Make Money
1. Always keep an eye out for opportunity.
Life happens so fast - sometimes we forget that there are awesome opportunities in the background. Since there’s no such thing as job security in this economy, it’s a good idea to job search as long as its done discreetly. You never know when the next great job is opening unless you keep an eye out for it.
2. Find cheap ways to have fun.
Everyone likes to have a good time, but it can get pricey. Taking some time to find what cheap events are around your area can really save a lot of cash. A lot of towns host free concerts in the summer and family festivals in the winter as a way of building community togetherness. In addition, you can find a lot of local groups online. How about splitting open a bottle of wine and having a movie with friends? This is the ultimate cheap night in.
3. Start a retirement fund.
It may seem like you have an endless amount of time until you retire but the truth is different. You have to be proactive and start socking away a little every month for retirement. Just investing $50 a month will amount to some big savings over time. How much? Well, investing $50 over the time span of 30 years can get you over $70,000! This is assuming the normal rate of return in the stock market. Be diligent and start saving for retirement today. Your future self depends on it…literally.
4. Don’t fall for the “envy blues.”
We define this as anything where you feel the old pangs of jealousy. Look, we’re all human. It’s hard when we see our neighbor with the flashiest car on the street and not feel some negativity. My point is if you let that feeling consume you, you may end up with an overpriced car note and a big old case of buyer’s remorse. Keep your feelings in check and your finances will thank you.
5. Limit your time on social media.
The reasons for this have a lot to do with the “envy blues” as stated directly above. A lot of people like to post their pictures of the various fabulous vacation spots they have visited. It is easy to start feeling down about your own life when most people tend to only talk about the good stuff and not the bad. You can then feel the pressure to spend money on things. We all want to feel happy for our friends but certainly not at the expense of our own financial sanity.
6. Use coupons. But don’t go overboard.
Everyone loves a good deal. Using coupons on stuff that you would already buy is great. Using coupons on unhealthy, processed food that you wouldn’t have bought means you are really wasting money instead of saving it.
7. Live a minimalist lifestyle.
This doesn’t mean that you have to live in an isolated cabin in the woods with no electricity or running water with only squirrels for friends. This can be as simple as forgoing to buy that pair of killer but unnecessary shoes. The less stuff you have, the easier it is just to live life and not be saddled down with stuff. There will always be time down the line to buy things.
8. Exercise often.
You may be wondering how this is finance-related, but the truth is that taking the time to work out will save thousands in the long run. Health care is expensive, quite frankly. Aa an added bonus, exercise is such a great stress reliever as well.
9. Budget like the rent is due tomorrow.
Making sure you have the money to pay the bills is extremely important. No one wants the bill collector at the door. Keep it simple and keep a running record of the maximum you can spend for stuff like rent, food, and more every month.
10. Save, save, SAVE!!!
If you listen to nothing else, then please make sure you have an emergency fund. This will save you so much stress and heartache down the road. You’ll be in the position to be able to live your life without the heavy burden of being on a financial cliff all the time. Life is made of peaks and valleys and it’s so important to be prepared. Take care of yourself and your finances by being responsible now.
Being young is wonderful and it’s a time of great discovery. At the same time, it can be an especially confusing time for your finances. It’s time to make those important financial decisions that’ll change things for the positive. Take the necessary steps to prepare for your future. Remember that life is an endless path of opportunity and heeding this advice will open doors that may not even seem possible right now. All you need is a little motivation to make your financial dreams a reality.