Financial Savvy I Wish I Knew In My Twenties
Updated: Mar 19, 2020
The following is an article “Financial Savvy I Wish I Knew In MY Twenties” by Marc Primo.
Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday when you threw your mortarboard in the air and waved goodbye to college forever? Still, many of us would probably be lying if we said we didn’t wish we knew then what we know now, even after as little as five years out there in the real world.
For those who have just graduated or are about to graduate, nothing teaches you about life in the real world better than hands on experience. The following are practical tips to keep in mind so that you minimize your chances of learning things the hard way:
Rein in compulsive spending — When we are fresh out of college, it is natural that we want to live life to the fullest. With a job that pays us a salary while we are still single with no major responsibilities or obligations, the temptation to splurge on shopping and a good time can be overwhelming. While there is nothing wrong with that, try to establish a limit to this spending per month and stick to it. This will help you develop a sense of responsibility and self-control, so that any excess income can go into a savings account that will earn you interest as you progress in your career or chosen livelihood.
Save, save, save — This cannot be reiterated enough, so it shall get an entry of its own. Youth equates to being carefree and inexperienced, and wisdom comes with age and learning from our mistakes as we stumble on life’s hurdles, pick ourselves off the ground, and charge it all to experience. While saving money when we are young might seem unnecessary, it is important to be far-sighted and anticipate the unexpected such as medical emergencies. When we are in our twenties, we think we are invincible and such contingencies are usually the last things on our mind. Give yourself peace of mind by having enough savings, just in case.
Hold off on that brand new car — Yes, I know. What good is your driver’s license without a ride you can call your own? But before you take the plunge and drive your dream car out of the showroom, consider first why you are buying a brand new car. Even if you can afford it, is it absolutely necessary? Will a second hand car offer the same solution at half the price? Will public transportation be a viable option at a fraction of the price of that second hand car? In other words, determine what your needs are first before taking the most expensive route. Focusing on your career will land you a free company car sooner rather than later, so why not consider that option as well?
Think twice about using that credit card — Billionaire business magnate Warren Buffet has been very vocal about his stand on credit cards, touting them as dangerous and something we can all, in theory, live without. While plastic may have its pros when it comes to building credit score and rating, everything else about it is a potential red flag if you aren’t careful. After all, credit card companies make money by offering a convenient service, and then capitalizing on the hole many people find themselves in after the debt monster rears its ugly as a result of that convenience. Remember, it is infinitely more difficult to get yourself out of debt than it is fall into it.