Don’t Make the Mistake of Waiting to Take your Finances Seriously
If you’re a young adult, it can be tough finding your way in the real world. Chances are that you’re still trying to get established professionally, socially, and (hopefully) financially. That can be a lot to handle all at once. On top of that, you’re likely not making a ton of money early on in your career, and you’re stressed out from the student debt you’ve taken on in order to get to this point.
Maybe it’s the pressure, maybe it’s a lack of education, or maybe it’s just not a priority; but for whatever reason, people’s finances usually take a seat on the back burner until later in life. There are also many common misconceptions out there like: “only wealthy people are investors”, or “I’ll figure it out later when I’m earning more”.
Contrary to popular belief, you DON’T have to be Warren Buffett to be an investor. You also don’t need to be some investment banker on Wall Street to understand money. You definitely don’t need to be over the age of 40, either.
It may not be the easiest time in life, but it’s a critical one. Your 20s and 30s are a time to start BUILDING the future that you want for yourself and your family. It’s a great time to learn and apply the fundamentals, like budgeting and building an emergency savings fund.
These years are also an ideal time to start increasing your earning potential! The trick to creating wealth is acquiring assets. And, in order to acquire more assets, you need to increase your income. If you can start doing this earlier on in life, you’ll be in a much better place than your peers that get a later start.
How does one go about this? Well, there are several different ways, depending on your talents, work ethic, and preferences. You can find ways to become more valuable professionally (more licensing, improved skill set, etc) or, you can explore alternative sources of income (Uber/Lyft, creating a side business, etc). Again, it comes down your desires and preferences.
Lastly, your early adulthood is a great time to get ahead on your investing. One of the main rules of finance is risk versus reward. In order to reap, you must sow. An aggressive allocation (investment mix) generally makes a lot more sense when you’re 27 versus when you’re 50. You also have the privilege of learning your appetite for risk earlier than the people that get started late and panic when recessions hit (as they do). Want to avoid panicking? Learn how truly comfortable you are with risk. That will give you context when the markets hit the fan (as they do).
So what does this all mean? Don’t sleep on your finances.
Early adulthood can be a wild ride; I know, personally. But why continue that wild ride financially when you’re older in life, you know, when it really, really matters? Do you want to be stressed out about debt when you’re raising your family? Do you want to be playing catch up with risk when you’re getting closer to retirement because you started late?
You don’t have to figure it all out at once. Just start building on the foundations and let your goals push you to keep learning and working. Nothing great comes without work. You’ll be glad you put it in.
If you’d like to connect, feel free to follow me on IG @themillennialmoneymentor. I also have a website: www.themillennialmoney.com. Good luck!
TLDR: Don’t wait until you’ve got even more responsibility to suddenly decide your finances are important. Get ahead of the game- you’ll be glad you did.