Sometimes we understand our life a little late, and money lessons a little later!
Becoming money smart isn’t an overnight thing, and trust me, I’m telling this with my own experiences. A few individuals spend their whole life never saving a bit, instead living paycheck to paycheck, and a few do save, but not at the right age, or in the right way out. This is because, in our earlier days, nobody spoke out to us that money handling is as sexy as looking good, and it can certainly help you a lot in the long run.
You might still feel that you are too young to save, but the scary truth here is, with each passing day, you are getting a day closer to your retirement. Right now, this is the time to leave your 20s carelessness behind, and become tighter with your financial habits.
So, here are the best 7 lessons I wish I had learned about money in my 20’s because I don’t want you to miss out on something this serious:
1. Inflation is real
Believe it or not, inflation is real, and it does affect the savings of any individual in the long run. With the rising price of commodities and services, the value of your money should increase as well. Hence, you should always know that your cash is devaluing over time, and that’s why you can’t let it sit in your bank.
But what’s the catch here? Ideally, you should invest your money somewhere that it grows at the same rate or higher rates than inflation. When you start investing earlier, you will develop money-saving habits, and you’ll know what your risk appetite actually is. Calculate your monthly expenses, keep some cash in your hand, and then depending on your risk of tolerance, invest the extra dollars anywhere you want to.
2. Difference between good and bad debt
When you are in your 20s, understanding the subtle difference between good and bad debt is difficult, but whoever does that gets to save a lot. For example, many would say you that don’t borrow money, or else you will get into bad debt; but in reality, if that borrowed money is increasing your net worth or adding some value to your future, it’s not a bad debt.
Moreover, don’t get into the EMI trap so early, and make sure to not buy stuff, you can’t afford at all. It’s always easy to pay the minimum than to stress more about paying the maximum, so get smart, and know what is good and bad debt for you.
3. Early investments matter
As mentioned previously, the only trick to save money the right way is by investing it all very early. Even if you are in your high school, understand the ins and outs of compound interest, and try saving your pocket money as much as you can. No matter what your age is, explore all possible investment options, get curious about everything, and start learning.
That being said, you don’t even have to rush at all, just learn and then invest, as because you have started early, time will always be in your favor.
4. Building a money mindset
Building one’s own money mindset matters more because it should be all about you, and not just about the people around you. Confused, right?
Let’s get it this way, when you are young, many people around you would say, “they are doing this because they are rich”, “one should do investments only after the 30s”, Oh, you can’t do this, you don’t have that much appetite”, “the stock market is tricky, don’t step into it”. These are not merely a few statements, but instead, money beliefs of other individuals, which you might consume, knowingly or unknowingly.
Many individuals out there always have limiting beliefs when it comes to money, hence you should always ask yourself, where is my belief coming from? Can I release these beliefs and start out afresh?
Hence, to live up to your potential, break out of these glass ceilings on your own, before it gets too late. Build a money mindset for yourself that allows you to live a more abundant life, and opens more opportunities for yourself.
5. Long-term thinking is important
In your early 20s, when you will start investing or at least saving money, you’ll hear a lot of get-rich-quick schemes – and trust me, JUST STAY AWAY from these.
When it comes to money, always think long-term. Spending a hundred dollars on a tempting meal is easy, but stopping yourself from spending that dollar, and thinking long-term about where you can invest these dollars is hard, so know you’re easy and hard. Always know the value of your dollars, think about the opportunities, and will these specific spending will make you or break you.
6. Investment in yourself
Being a happipreneur myself, I always speak this out loud – before investing elsewhere, always invest in yourself. Learn new things every day, and explore as much as you can in your early 20s, curious about a course? Buy it right away, and learn it all quickly.
Also, with that being said, if it’s about your growth, don’t go cheap there, for example, if you like a book, or any tool for learning, just buy it, even though it’s expensive, as these will give you better results.
7. Retirement planning is essential
Last, but the most important thing, plan your retirement as early as you can. If you are unsure about how you can start it all with the bare minimum, take the help of saving calculators, and work on your future self. I know you are really very young to do this, and retirement is a lot forever away right now, but the earlier you start, the better you protect yourself.
You will not learn every important life lesson in your school, but with so many experienced people around, you always have access to the best information – you just have to look for it. These were my money lessons, and every other individual might have their own, but trust me, starting out early would be a common statement in everybody’s journey. So, what are the money lessons you wished you knew in your 20s? Do let me know!
Featured Image by jcomp on Freepik