It is an unstated yet well understood fact that we need to earn, save and create funds for a secured and comfortable future.
In this article, let me tell you some habits to pick in your 20s to build a financially secure future. Do not miss the opportunities in your 20s so that you can enjoy a very happy retirement.
So, start today with new hope and a new plan to overhaul your financial picture. Start practicing these habits, become a new person, and walk towards financial security.
Little Drops of Water Make a Mighty Ocean. So, start from the small steps, repeat regularly, rather than doing it in one single giant leap.
Avoid Credit Card Debt
Today, almost all financial institutions have attracted youth towards various credit card offers. Being pulled by curiosity, many youngsters get unknowingly trapped. Eventually struggling through debt. So my best suggestion that you practice as a habit to pick in your 20s for a secured future is to avoid credit cards. If you are buying anything, or shopping, or paying bills, make a point that you should have money in your account.
Credit cards have 45 days no interest period, but even though many people are not able to pay on-time. If you failed, you are charged with a high-interest for the outstanding amount. It can ruin your finances over time.
Pay Attention To Your Credit Score
In the previous topic, I told you to avoid credit cards and credit card debts, but that doesn’t mean that you should completely ignore credit cards. Having a good credit score will help you in many different ways, such as you can avail loans at a better rate of interest than others. If your credit score is more than 800, you will get a loan at the fairly low interest rate.
A good credit score also determines your retirement insurance rates and other types of financial deposit plans. So, if you get a credit card, play a safe game, and maintain that you should not fall into the trap. So a better way to use a credit card to build your credit profile is to get a credit card and use it a few times in a month. Buy something or pay a few bills and repay the credit card bill in full before the no-interest period expires. Try not to carry a balance to the next month.
Tackle Your Debt
The accumulation of a debt ca also be understood as wasting your potential future savings. Avoid unnecessary debt by properly planning your purchases and distinguishing between your various needs. I am not saying all debts are bad. Borrowing for education or mortgages is theoretically worth the cost. A credit card debt is classified as a bad example of debt or called a bad debt. So list all your debts and start paying off by following SnowBall Method. It means to start paying off the debt with the smallest balance first. But do not stop paying other debts (rather than pay smaller). Once you complete full payment to that smaller debt, you can start using that money to pay off your larger debt. Keep this as a practice until all your debt got paid and cleared. Do not unnecessarily buy things and shop online that is having no or less value for your living now using your credit or borrowing money. Follow this habit very strictly in your 20s to build a secure financial future.
Set up an Emergency Fund
In our life, we never know when we could be in need of that extra. It could be a lay off, medical emergency or family emergency- they usually come unannounced. It’s not fair, and it’s not even funny, but it may happen. The best thing to be prepared is creating an emergency fund.
As you see, the world stalled, and nearly millions of people lost their job due to Corona aka COVD-19. Many companies have stopped their operations and laid off their employees or have had severe pay cuts. It is in such cases that an emergency fund helps one sustain.
Like investing in other assets, insurance policies, retirement planning, invest some money for emergency needs as well. You can determine the size of your emergency fund based on your other expenses.
Create a Budget
Easy to say, difficult to do and even more difficult to follow.
Budgeting is one of the hardest parts for many. They spend all their earned money in a more uncontrolled way, and at the end of the month, they’re left with lose to nothing. Many people in their 20s are not learning how important it is to manage money. So first, how do you create and manage your budget? There are lots of ways to follow and at first separate into categories: Savings, Needs, and Wants.
After you have earned your paycheck, create your budget, and split your money for the above categories. First, prepare for your savings like retirement plans, life insurance premium, Fixed deposit, Investments like trading, bonds, etc. Then comes the Needs, which are the things that cannot be postponed or avoided. Like, your home rent, which you cannot avoid every month.
Finally, Wants, if your guess is correct, wants are different from needs. Yes, for example, you need to need, but it’s not necessary to go to a big hotel to eat. You can cook for yourself at home. Another example, do you really need to buy new clothes this month. Not if you can postpone to next month.
So, create your clean table of Savings, Needs, and Wants every month so that you can create a perfect budget. There are so many online budgeting apps are available that can help you track all your spendings using your debit cards, credit cards, and bank account.
Create Short-Term Goals
After you completed your college degree, your first short-term goal is to bag a job in a good company for decent pay. A Goal can be either a short-term goal or a long-term goal. But do not set long-term goals, as we do not know what life is having for us tomorrow. So, planning a long-term goal is a daunting task for young people.
Also, setting one short-term goal isn’t enough. Like after completing a college degree, get placed in a Good Company for Good Pay. Set a series of short-term goals to achieve your long-term goals. For example, the first goal is getting a good job. The second goal is paying off your education loan in a span of 12 months. The third goal is opening a savings account and retirement account as soon as possible in the next few months.
Keep creating more series of short-term goals and put effort to achieve them one by one. Constant setting and achieving will ensure your steady growth both in terms of your financial career and in your life.
After the massive boom in the IT industry, many students are joining computer-related courses in their college. After you complete your college degree, you can join an IT company based on your skill and your academic qualification. The starting salary of these companies is also higher than what our parents earned in their young-age. So, this makes the graduates in the first few years of their employment, spend excess money on unnecessary things. Stop performing these stupid spending habits, quiet use the money in other useful ways.
You can use the money to invest in returning assets or paying off your debts, or add and increase your savings. As you advance in your employment, your salary will also grow.
So, you should focus on creating a healthy budget according to Savings, Needs, and Wants. A general formula that if your lifestyle lags your income, you are well in your financials. It’s possible to begin a normal lifestyle by completing the basic needs. So, start practicing to live a modest lifestyle as a habit to pick in your 20s for building a secure financial future.
Open a Savings Account
When are you above 18 (or) any legal age of your country, first open a savings account in any reliable bank in your country? Search for a high-returning account that offers more interest on the money that you keep in your account. Create a habit of adding a few dollars a week or multiple times a week to your savings account. Never mind if it is one-cent or two-cent, deposit in your savings account.
Education Loan (Borrow What You Require)
Today many students are studying through education loans as their parents can’t afford high tuition fees. The government also passed many laws to ease the loan process. But you borrow only for your tuition fees, exam fees, and lab fees. Do not include other expenses and make your loan bigger. The smaller the loan, the easier to repay.
After completing your studies, approach your banking partner and ask for a repayment schedule to repay the loans. I can see many students caught up in loan consolidation scams and merely wasting large sums of money spent on student loan debt.
Buy a Suitable Life Insurance
Life insurance is not only for working people or adults, but you should plan to buy on in your 20s. It is not the subject of the aged people, but you need to plan in your 20s to secure your future. Because when a 35years old opts for an insurance they pay more premium for the same maturity value than the one in their 20s.
It is a bitter truth, but you should make this a habit to pick in your 20s for building a secure financial future. If you are planning for a marriage in the coming years or so, having life insurance will secure your financial protection of your family. Start finding a suitable insurance plan at 20 and choose your premium duration as well.
Find a Reliable Financial Planner
A financial planner is a qualified person who is responsible for preparing financial plans for the people. S/he helps individuals and corporations to meet their long-term financial goals by planning multiple short-term goals. It often includes investment, trading, tax planning, asset allocation, insurance planning, etc. But you can ask, I am just 20, and why should I need one as i don’t have any assets to manage or budget to hire a financial planner? You need to hire one after you starting earning your first penny so you don’t lose out on any opportunities- big and small.
Develop Your Skills
Today many people have achieved great heights even though they aren’t academically proficient. Yes, it’s not necessary to complete a college degree to get a job. However, you can identify your skills and groom them. List down all the skills you think you have. Filter the best ones that you think you fit yourself with and develop the skills that are in demand. There are many certification courses you can join to land a good job. For example, digital marketing is the trending job in the current decade. So, if you are able to develop your digital marketing skills, you can find a lot of online jobs from home.
Start a Reliable Side Hustle
Today a majority of people are pursuing part-time jobs in their free time. Having a side hustle can diversify your income and ensure continuous money flow in your bank accounts. Identify your skills and develop your skills to get a reliable side income. There are so many jobs available online such as Virtual Assistants, Micro Workers, Freelance Web Designers, Digital Marketers, etc. Having a side-hustle not only makes you earn more but also helps you groom your skills.
An additional income makes you free from relying too heavily on a single source of income. try making this a habit in your 20s for building a secure financial future.
It is the age to keep learning new things and gain more knowledge about work and life. So, always spend some time to learn about investing. The best example is Warren Buffet, who is a great investor. He is also a role model for many entrepreneurs. This man is all about money management and recognising opportunities to invest and grow.
So get help from your financial advisor or use the internet to learn various ways to invest your money so that it can get you good returns. You can invest in instruments like Fixed Deposits, Bonds and Securities, Stock Market, Forex Market Trading, Invest in start- ups, etc. But you need to earn money before-hand to get into this part (which is money makes money).
Create a Habit of Saving Money For Big Purchases
Start saving money for big purchases right from your 20s. It is the right time to start saving for various wishes and needs like world tour, marriage, that dream car, etc. It is always better to buy things from your savings rather than buying from the credit that will sometimes end up in long-term debt. If you are planning to buy a car that isa luxury, do not buy on loans. Instead, work more to save more money, you can end up buying the same car after a year or two than planned. There won’t be any happier moment than buying your dream car in full payment rather than buying through a loan.
Open Retirement Account
Like savings accounts, when you are at your 20, open a Retirement account as soon as you start earning money. Do not wait until 30 or more to open an account. Because when you start investing in your 20s, you can save more. As soon as you receive your first paycheck, open a retirement account with your company. Else you can open an IRA account where an earning person can contribute to an IRA.
Pay Bills On Time
When you grow over your 20s, you become responsible for yourself and more. It becomes necessary that you pay your own bills. Your parents aren’t/ shouldn’t be responsible for them. Do not miss any utility payments, phone bills, internet bills, or other items. Because delaying payments or missing payments can harm your credit score for years. Yes, this will affect your eligibility when you apply for that home loan in the future.
Build Your Network
You are just coming out of your nest to see the outside world. On completion of your basic education, take advantage of internships, free jobs, community jobs, and other opportunities where you can garner and share your expertise and gain on field experience. Always search to meet new people and build new relationships, which will give you more opportunities for your future.
Give to Others
Healthy finance means helping others in need. Give some part of your earned money to churches, charity, or volunteer in organizing camps, events, etc. Give your time, money, and effort. This habit can give results in other ways and makes you explore new opportunities, thus helps to build a secured financial future.
Learn to Cook
This could sound absurd, but when you calculate your average monthly spending on food, it will account for a large part of your earnings. Yes, not every student will get a job in their hometown. Sometimes, we might need to re-locate for our job. When you learn to cook food for yourself, you can save a lot of money (& who knows this could be your little side hustle). Eating unhealthy foods and fast foods can lead to various health problems, which in turn can drain your money. So, learn to cook for yourself and save money from unwanted expenses and hospital bills. You will be healthier, more active when you eat healthy food. So, you can put more effort and simultaneously earn more money in your 20s.
Everyone’s life including mine starts at the age of 20, before this we are coddled and comforted. We need to be more cautious in taking every step forward towards a financially secure future. If not now, then when?
So, follow the above advice and start practicing the habits to pick in your 20s for building a secure financial future.
You cannot work over-time in your 40. You can’t spend time with your family in your 30 if you forgot to shape your future ever since your 20s.
Think Wise, Act Wiser. Think about what you value and its importance to you. Spend more time on priorities instead of wasting money on things that wouldn’t matter in the near future.