Your 20s can be counted as the best times of your life. However, this doesn’t mean you should be irresponsible – keep in mind that habits formed when you were in your 20s will be the foundation for your later years in life. Discover the 13 money resolutions that will become effective habits of the truly wealthy 20-somethings.
1. Map out your life dreams.
Do you want to own a house at age 25? Want to start a business when you’re still 26? Travel the world while you’re still young? Enumerate your Life Dreams and include an estimated figure for every Life Dream.
This can make you more serious in saving and investing money because you have an idea as to how much money your dreams will cost.
2. Make a motivation board.
Remember your Life Dreams? Put those dreams in pictures! We are visual creatures so we’re more prone to be motivated once we see our dreams in pictures. Collect pictures of your dream house, your dream travel spots, your dream car, or even your dream self being interviewed by your idol.
Don’t be shy about your dreams – no one’s judging you.
3. Make a disaster board.
Okay, now you have a motivation board to inspire you to save for the finer things in life. How about the rougher things in life such as your relative suffering from a terminal illness, your house being destroyed by typhoons or your business being engulfed by flames?
Visualize the worst and your emergency fund will get filled up in no time.
4. Pay yourself FIRST.
Upon receiving your salary, get at least 10% of your income, deposit 5% to your life dreams account and another 5% to your disaster account. Do this first before paying your bills, your groceries, your rent or your entertainment.
You worked hard for this money. You deserve to be paid first.
5. Create a spending plan.
Know how much you make, how much you save and how much you spend. Make the figures realistic – you can’t help yourself if you’re not willing to admit that you have a problem.
6. Don’t use credit cards unless you’re absolutely sure you can pay off the balance every single month.
Credit card companies love you when you pay late because this means they can charge you more interest. Credit cards are like unhealthy fatty foods – they taste good at first, but once you can’t stop eating them, you’re going to have to work very hard to shed the fat.
7. Credit cards will come and haunt you constantly, if you’re not careful. Seriously, just don’t.
Just to emphasize my point, did you know that credit cards charge an average interest of at least 30% per year? You don’t think this is high? Your bank account gives you at most 2%. Do the math.
8. Don’t spend your hard-earned money just to keep up appearances and impress people you don’t like.
Honestly, I’m sure you all have met many young adults who are living from paycheck to paycheck – this is understandable as we’re all just starting out in life. But if these same young adults suddenly use credit cards to purchase insanely expensive clothes or gadgets just to “look” rich, my mind hurts, as I can’t understand their reason for doing so.
9. Secure your emergency fund.
Experts say you should have 3-6 months’ worth of expenses stashed in your emergency fund, but if you’re just a single young adult starting out on your path to financial freedom, 3 months’ worth is fairly decent – for now.
10. Make sure that your emergency fund is really for emergencies.
Remember your Disaster Board? Those are some examples of emergencies. A K-pop band just came to the Philippines and you need money for their concert tickets? Not an emergency. Your favorite establishment is having a sale? Not an emergency. Your longtime crush of 5 years finally asked you to date him so you need a smashing outfit? Well… Borrow clothes from friends! Not an emergency.
11. Invest in health insurance.
We’re already in our 20s. Our dad’s health insurance won’t be able to cover us anymore. Boo. Look on the bright side, paying for PhilHealth isn’t that majorly expensive. Yeah! Apply for it now, as you need to be a contributing member for a minimum of 9 months before your bill can actually be partially covered.
12. Read personal finance books and blogs.
Hey, personal finance need not be boring or nausea-inducing! For personal finance beginners, I suggest the book “8 Secrets of the Truly Rich” by Bo Sanchez. It can really change your mindset and view money in a different light.
13. Invest in the stock market for your retirement.
80% or more of the people who trade in the stock market lose their money, while those who invest in it earn. The difference between trading and investing is time. Treat the stock market as your retirement fund and prepare to invest in it for a minimum of 10 years. Start investing in your retirement NOW.
The best time is NOW. I’ve met many aged (read: older) experts who told me the same thing: they all wished they started investing for their retirement while they were in their 20s.
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If someone promises you a high-interest risk-free investment scheme that can double your money within a short period of time, please don’t fall for it. Better yet, report the company to the authorities and ask experts for valuable advice.
Deceiving companies, which take advantage of the “agad-agad” mindset of Filipinos, deserve to be taught a lesson.
Money is a terrible master, but a terrific servant.
Apply these resolutions and make money work for you.
You owe it to yourself. – Rappler.com
Lianne Martha Laroya is a 21-year-old pro blogger & freelance writer. A budding entrepreneur and a registered nurse, Lianne believes everyone has the potential to win at life. Connect with her on Twitter, @MsLianneLaroya.
How are you planning to celebrate the New Year? What are your resolutions for 2013? Celebrate the New Year with us by joining the conversation here: #Start2013Right and saying #NoToFirecrakers! Happy Holidays!