Today’s the day you stop making excuses for your lackluster bank account and start really saving money. I get that “saving money” wasn’t really a skill taught in high school, and that we were instead taught about Tangents and graphs. Go ahead though, give all the excuses you can find to not having money in your bank account. Tell me you’re young, you work part time, you have the rest of your life to have money, etc. Throw them out the window because I’m going to tell you something. There is no reason to NOT have a savings account. None. Reality check, those $100 bar benders are not necessary. The same goes for the $120.00 pair of jeans in light denim, dark denim, and black denim all hanging in your closet. Here’s six realistic things to remember about money.
Build Your Credit
I’m going to get struck by lightening after typing this, but you need to build credit. I used to be 150% against credit cards. I felt like they were a black hole. Everyone who had credit cards made bad, rash, and crazy purchases and no one ever could get away from their debt. But then I learned that I can’t get anything on my own- including a $2,000 school loan, because I didn’t have credit.
While I would never want to say that you should use a credit card to spend a bunch of money that you can’t pay back. I also wouldn’t suggest that you only pay the minimum balance every month. I’m just saying that credit cards build credit, and credit helps you buy a house, a car, or other big real life things.
The Retirement Fund
I’ve had a retirement fund since I was 18. Actually, I’m on my third. I wasn’t very smart with the first one. Or the second. The first one closed because I no longer worked for that company. Since it was a Government job, I had no opportunity to roll it over, so I took it out and used it to move my fiance and I from Nebraska to Iowa. My second one came in December, just a month ago. Since I no longer worked for the YMCA, there was no opportunity to for it to continue to build. I could roll it over to a third party account, but after research didn’t like the option so I took it out and paid off school loans. Now, with work I have another retirement fund & it takes a very small portion of my paycheck and builds up monthly and is matched by my employer.
Retirement funds are going to be your only income when you retire. Think about that. When you no longer have a steady paycheck, how will you pay for your life? There are plenty of articles that explain why it’s important to plan early. See HERE, HERE, and HERE for more information.
Focus On Your Debt
I know you think that school loans are something that disappeared into the abyss, but I assure you, about three months after graduation they’re going to show up and you’re going to cry. Fedloan has plenty of opportunities for you to pay back based on employment, rate of pay, etc, but you still have to pay it back. The faster it’s paid off, the faster money becomes YOURS. If you decided to put birthday, Christmas, and tax refund money into your school loans instead of buying new clothes and shoes, you will make a huge dent into your huge debt.
Pretend To Make Less
This is just a small thing to help your daily spending. Let’s say you get $1,000 paychecks. Cut it in half. Pretend you make less, and you’ll spend less. If you think you only make $500, you’re going to budget that way. Then, you’ll have an extra $500 to save, invest,
Don’t Give Up Spending All Together
Do not destroy your mindset with money but completely cutting yourself off. None of this is trying to scare you when it comes to your money, it’s to make you cautious. Girls, I’m right there with you in having shoes you need. I went to Nordstrom Rack last weekend and threw $100 on shoes. I also haven’t bought shoes for 8 months and waited until I actually needed them. Think about things that you can spend money on that you’ll enjoy and find a way to make it a “thing”. Instead of a weekly bar trip totaling $75.00. Go out once a month and spend $100. Little changes, big savings.
Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day
Saving money, paying off debt, starting retirement funds, and building credit is just the beginning of the rest of your life when it comes to money. Take it slow, take real control, and realize that your spending and saving in your twenties WILL impact the rest of your life. Someday you’ll have to buy diapers, pay for a mortgage, and feed more than one mouth.
*We didn’t speak investments here today, and there’s one reason why: I could research the stock market, investing in it, or finding and purchasing bonds, but I don’t understand it. That’s real. I won’t tell you about it, if I don’t know about it. It’s just not fair to you, and it’s not in the integrity of alwaysampersand.com