Your twenties are a critical part of your life. Jon Acuff describes this as the learning stage. Join me as I discuss ten goals and skills you should learn before leaving your twenties.
Listen, I didn’t learn anything I know now until I was at specific points in my twenties. Learn from my mistakes and latch on to these points.
Goal #1 – Understand the Credit Score
There’s a lot of talk these days about the credit score; in fact, it’s become the sacred cow of our society. When you strip all the hype away, what is it really and how does it work?
Without knowledge on this score, you really set yourself up for failure. here’s the good news. There’s still time to learn what it is and how it works. Simply check out my Savvy Saturday video, “The Credit Score Demystified.”
Skill #1 – Waiting to Make Large Purchases
It is very easy to overspend now that you are in your twenties as you likely have your own job, money and very few responsibilities.
This can spiral out-of-control in a heartbeat and lead you into deep credit card debt. Delaying instant gratification is proven to be the number one trait of those who win in life. So learn to wait!
For strategies on how to curb this area and develop the habits needed, check out “How to Avoid Impulses and Make Your Wallet Behave.”
Goal #2 – Save 3x Your Living Expenses for Emergencies
Having an emergency right now may seem unlikely. You’re young and invincible! But rain falls on the just and unjust equally.
Studies show that every seven to ten years you experience a significant family emergency–not to mention all the little ones that pop up between now and then.
Therefore, it’s time to begin saving to put yourself in a solid position in case the inevitable happens and you need to put those money skills into play.
Skill #2 – Learning the Basics of Investing
Begin investing as soon as you get those healthy foundations in place. To simply trust the expert is a recipe for disaster and puts you at risk for falling for scams.
You don’t need to be an expert but learning the basic terms and habits of investing will help you be an educated investor, which is critical to your success.
For a solid foundation on these basics, watch “How to Invest Money Like a Billionaire.”
Goal #3 – Getting Debt Free
Society tells you debt is normal. Instead, let’s kick debt to the curb and put some money skills in place.
How do you get rid of debt like student loans? Well, the solution is not easy but it is simple. Use the debt snowball. By focusing your energy on this method, you will gain so much traction it’s shocking and will begin to reap the rewards of those money skills.
For a step-by-step walk through on how to do this, take a look at “How to Crush Debt for Good.”
Skill #3 – Rolling with the Punches
The only thing constant is change. Life is never what you expect.
Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.
I can say with complete confidence this is painfully true, and you may put all your ducks in a row and then one will fly away. The ability to flex with changes and still stay on track will be critical to your survival.
So, how do you do this? Well, a couple different ways.
Talk to those who have done well with money and learn from them. If you want to be a good plumber, do what a good plumber does. The same goes for building wealth and being wise with money.
Also, there is no substitute for experience and trial and error is a great learning opportunity. If you don’t take the time to learn, you’ll keep making the same mistakes until you do, so roll with the punches.
Goal #4 – Getting Healthy with Money
Money is a wonderful tool and a terrible master. If you have never been taught the basics of money management, you may look up and find you are not in control–the money is.
Get healthy with your perception of money, what it is for and what you can do with it.
A famous wiseman once said, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” Money itself is not evil, as it can be a great tool if you know how to use it wisely, but it can lead to your undoing rather quickly. So, be sure to put into practice these money skills.
Skill #4 – Learn to Find Ways to Have Fun Without Spending
This is a huge skill that will last you the rest of your life. When you get married and when you have kids, this skill will be even more useful. Eating out becomes 3+ people instead of the single days when it was just one.
Here’s a hint. If you aren’t developing this habit now, you aren’t going to be equipped when you need it in the later stages of life. So, think outside the box, speak up for yourself and lead.
Goal #5 – Learn to Live on a Budget
You are never going to outgrow the need for a budget. You need it now for what you think is little or no income, you’ll need it in retirement when your income is fixed, and everywhere in between.
Knowing where your money is going and telling it where to go is a healthy habit. Learn from those who’ve gone before you and don’t forsake this advice. Budgeting is a tool to help prioritize and meet your goals, not a set of handcuffs.
For more tips on building a budget, check out “How to Build a Strong Budget That Actually Sticks.”
Skill #5 – Buying Secondhand
Don’t turn your nose up to this one, thinking if you shop in a thrift store you are somehow second class.
The truth is that those who are savvy learn how to purchase quality bargains at these stores.
Think strategically too. The next town over might be a higher income area where you can find a better selection. The results can be hit or miss but be patient.
You can also do this without leaving home. Check out the ThredUp app, which offers online consignment and thrift.
With determination and drive, you can easily accomplish these goals and more in your twenties to set yourself on a great path for the rest of your financial life and find more money to fund your dreams.
I hope you found this information helpful. Come join my FREE Facebook community, the “Strong Together Money Community,” to stay informed and encouraged as you apply and accomplish these goals. Also, check out my free e-book to gain additional tips on how to build a budget that will last.
Question: Are you putting these money skills into practice? Need help. Contact me today!
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