Managing Money in your 20's
1. Don't wait to start saving for your future.
It's good to live in the moment; there is nothing as thrilling as living spontaneously. But as part of being an adult, it's equally important to think about the future. In your 20s, planning for your future may seem boring, and you may believe that you have enough time before you have to start saving but it's important to keep your long-term financial goals and start working towards them early.
It is going to feel overwhelming initially for starting with smaller savings will boost your confidence and make you feel more comfortable as you start saving more.
2. Don't rely on credit cards
I was a fool to fall into the pit that credit card really is. We've all heard the horror stories about credit card debts but we feel we're smarter than those fools and somehow, we will never fall into that pit. Before you know it you find yourself exactly there, in that very pit. It took me three years to pay off my credit card debt and educate myself on how to work it for my benefit.
The mistake that we all make is that we think it is our own money that we're spending which is not the case. If you have Rs. 15,000 in your account and Rs. 30,000 credit limit on your card, you don't have Rs. 45,000 in fact you have -15,000. If you look at credit card in this way, you are more likely to be mindful of how you use it.
3. Don't spend recklessly
We've all been through that feeling of getting our first paycheck. That thrill, the excitement, the treat to all your friends and family and then buying something fancy for yourself to celebrate, it's okay to do that. But you have to understand that there is a difference between celebrating and squandering money. It's surprising how easily we can get used to spending money recklessly and it can turn into a habit.
It's important to build your own check and balance systems that allow you to save most of your money and leaves you with little to spend until you get a hold on how you spend your money.
1. Demand what you're worth
I wish I had been more confident about negotiating my first salary. And I was surprised to find many people around me who felt this way.
I'm not saying to be overconfident or cocky, but to know the industry standards and have the confidence to demand what you feel is right. The worst that could happen is a no, and that is okay to live with than living with the regret that you never asked.
2. Set a budget
I started setting a budget in my late 20s and didn't enjoy it as much because I was doing it all wrong. It's important to know that setting a budget does not mean you are putting a limit and restricting yourself. In fact, if you look at it as permission to spend it feels enjoyable because you know that you are spending your money in the right way.
A few months back I had written an article on how to budget, and I think you might enjoy it.
3. Build an emergency fund
Unexpected things happen all the time, and as much as you might feel invincible in your 20s, that's not how life happens. Most of us think that emergency means only medical expenses. While that is one such expense that you may face there are many other kinds of emergencies like losing your job, unplanned travel expenses, unexpected taxes, etc.
It is good to build at least six months of living expenses as your emergency fund that you can fall back on when need be.
At some point or another we all realize the importance of money management, but the sooner you start, the easier it gets. Like everything in life, it's also important that you keep educating yourself about your own money and how and what you can do to get most out of it. The goal should be to increase your bottom line.
We all have stories and lessons about money. I would love to hear some of your advice on dos and don'ts when it comes to managing money. So, leave me a comment below and let's get this conversation started.