Financial Lessons… I’ve Learned Along The Way

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If many of us got a preview of what 10 or 20 years in the future looked like we would surely approach our present very differently.

Like some people, I’ve made some silly financial mistakes in my 20’s and even 30’s. I decided to share the lessons that I wish I had heeded to in hopes that it will help a 20 something year old or even thirty something year old get on the path to financial stability. It’s not to late.

1. Save 10% of everything you earn not matter how small the income

No matter how small your income… save some of it (10% is a good start). In my 20’s, I did not save the way I should have. I was a new single mother and I constantly justified this malpractice by stressing how “small” my salary was at the time.

2. Have dedicated savings account

Don’t co-mingle your everyday spending money with your savings. If possible open a CD Account or a dedicated savings account that doesn’t have a ATH / Visa Card. Set up direct deposit for this account.

3. Pay your bills in full (or over if you can afford to) & on time

You rob yourself every time you pay a late fee… Enough said! After 30 days your late payments are sent to the credit agencies and placed on your credit report and stay there for 7 years.

4. Invest! Invest! Invest!

You are not too young to invest. Speak to a trusted financial adviser and make your money work for you in your 20’s. I like the new Robinhood app that allows anyone to invest in the stocks for free.

5. Credit Responsibly

Credit cards, in my opinion, are not for the weak and financially irresponsible person. Instead set up a savings or checking account that comes with a Visa debit card (something I wish was offered in my early 20’s) which will help you to spend responsibly. You can’t spend what you don’t have. Download free credit monitoring apps like: Credit Karma, Wallet Hub, Experian and Mint) and monitor your credit reports on a regular basis. Don’t wait until you are trying to make a big purchase (car, house, etc.) to know what’s on your credit report. Know the difference between secured and unsecured credit cards. If you open an unsecured credit card request a small credit limit that you can use for emergencies but can still pay off after within a short period of time.

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