Financially Responsible Adults Develop These Habits Early On
One of the most critical decades in a person’s financial journey is their 20s. For many people, this is the start of their life-long careers and the time to build strong credit scores and investments. However, for many people, their 20s is also the start of their independent lives, where they can push their spending limits and live the lifestyle they’ve always wanted.
Yes, you should live your best life, but you should also develop certain responsible financial habits that will ensure you can continue to live your best life well into your 30s, 40s, and beyond. Here are some practices of financially responsible for 20-somethings.
Invest Often, but Invest Wisely
You don’t have to be a wolf of Wall Street to invest your money in the market. Investments can take on the form of many things, from buying company stocks to investing in local companies to purchasing a property that you can turn into a revenue-generating stream. But be prudent with your investments: always work with a financial advisor about your finances so that you can put your money in the best possible places.
Develop a Habit of Saving
There are plenty of different ways to save your money, but in general, it’s always best to divide your income into three ‘spending’ categories: recurring charges, life savings, and recreation. Recurring fees are the first things you should spend on, and these include expenses that occur every month (utility bills for water, electricity, and your phone/internet as well as rent). You can also add your monthly groceries and commuting expenses. After this, you have your life savings, including your emergency funds and investments. And finally, recreational money, which you use to fund your lifestyle. This is easier if you have financial goals that you want to achieve in a certain amount of time.
Of the three, your recreational budget should be the last thing to spend. Develop a habit of saving up first before spending, and you’ll find yourself with a whole lot of disposable cash later on in life.
Pay Off Your Debt Consistently
The American banking system has made it easier for people to get loans and mortgages for a variety of purposes, but watch out! The more debt you accrue, the more it’s going to eat away at your savings. Develop the habit of paying your debt, whether it’s a mortgage on a house, interest on a car loan, or your student debts, consistently. Consider that as part of your ‘recurring charges’ budget and try to pay more than just the minimum amount. Do this consistently enough, and you can live the dream of living debt-free before you’re 40.
Think about Your Retirement NOW
A lot of people in their 20s feel like they’re invincible, that they’ll be young forever. Of course, we know that’s not the case, and in fact, your 20s are the perfect age for you to start saving for retirement. Your life savings should have a category for retirement, and you shouldn’t rely on the retirement package your company will give you once you retire. It’s best to start building your retirement nest as early as possible.