When I was growing up, internet wasn’t an influence on what I learned and how quickly I learned it. The sheer amount of abundant information one can find online today is incredible. Young people today have such easy access to great information that can set them up for financial success and many are taking advantage of that. The older generation wasn’t so fortunate and any advice we got usually came from school or parents. There are things I know now that I had no way of knowing before.
Start saving a third of your income as soon as possible.
When we are young we have much fewer expenses and a great opportunity to save a good amount of money. Saving a big chunk of your income early on will help you learn about money management. It is better to learn how to budget your money sooner rather than later. Saving for the long run will also help you pay off your debts faster and allow you to focus on your career. Trust me – you don’t want that student debt that you’re still hanging on to today.
Dream big but know when to put that dream aside.
I know you want to be a celebrity but you should know when to give up your far-fetched dreams. I’m not saying you should give up on your dreams right away; I am only stating that you should go big and try it all early on rather than wait until you’re older. Becoming a millionaire is possible through other means than inventing something new and you should recognize that sometimes a goal is simply not going to come true. Only when you’re able to recognize that, you’ll move on to something that will allow you to succeed.
Hey you! Invest in your future.
I know this sounds counterintuitive to saving, but don’t spare any money to invest in your own future. If there is a school you want to go to, save for it and go. If there is a hobby you want to pursue, do it. If you feel that you have a stronger passion in starting something online, make sure to pursue that. If a master’s degree will earn you more down the line, don’t stop yourself from getting one. Everything is easier to do when you’re younger and the older you get the more tied up you become.
Pay down your debt early.
This one goes together with number one. Once you have saved up some money, pay down your student debt or any other debt you may have to avoid continuous interest fees. It’s much better to have the money available for investment than to pay interest on student loans that you could have been saving for since you first job. Even though it may take time to pay it all off, make sure to pay down as much as possible as quickly as possible.
Start a retirement account early.
This is probably by far my biggest regret and a tip to my younger self. Don’t make it an excuse to save when you have “more” money. The earlier you start the more you’ll save and the better discipline you’ll develop as an adult. Avoiding opening up a 401k is like shooting yourself in the foot and saying “I’ll fix that later.”
Care to share your thoughts? Are there any tips you would have to your younger self if you could?