Six Financial Moves That Your Older Self Will Kick Your Younger Self For
Ever wish that you had a time machine to go back to your younger self and tell them to do something? Most of us would tell the younger version of us to stay out of the sun, stop smoking or to date someone else, but what about the financial mistakes that you make to affect your future? Many of the financial moves that we make when we are in our twenties, or fail to make, can come back to bite us. There are six specific things that if you don’t do early, you will be upset with yourself later. To avoid regret, do these eight things early on.
1 Budget well
There was a time when we wrote checks for everything. Although killing trees, the ledger that was attached was a great way to stay on top of a budget. Nowadays, all we do is swipe a card. If you aren’t sticking to a budget and spending away, it will come back to haunt you. Those impulse buys may seem minuscule, but when you start to add them all up, they can become significant. If you make a budget and stick to it, then you can start saving for your future. If you don’t start to budget early on it begins to catch up with you, having a line of credit can help! Once things start to get complicated with children and mortgages, if you never learned to stay within your means, it will be difficult to reign it all in. To make matters worse, you won’t have a cushion to get you through, if something should happen.
2 Don’t let your balances revolve
If you don’t pay your credit cards off at the end of the month, a revolving balance can be like a bad girlfriend, following you around and making everything miserable. A revolving balance can not only take forever to pay off; it can tank your credit score. With most credit cards charging interest rates as high as 20%, likely you will only have the money to pay off the interest every month, not even touching the balance. It can take you years to pay off debt on a credit card. If you can’t afford it with cash, or to pay it off at the end of the month, resist the temptation to put it on a credit card. Make sure that you know the difference between a need and want.
3 Investing in the wrong place
Make sure to be involved in your investments, instead of just purchasing products that someone sells to you. Many financial investments are complex and can sound a lot better than they actually are. Know what you are buying and how it is going to benefit you in the long-term. Likewise, don’t let an investment ride without ensuring on a continual basis that you are letting your money work for you. Allowing money sit without being monitored is like throwing cash out the window.
4 Car purchases are a waste
When you get your first job, your first instinct is to reward yourself with a luxury car. The problem with a car is that it is not an investment but a drain on your financial future. The minute you drive it away you have lost value. Don’t overspend on a car, there will be a time in your financial future when it will make sense. Sinking a whole lot of money into one when you are young will only bring about regret when you get older.
5 Thinking you are invincible
Many youngsters opt out of insurance because they feel like they don’t need it. It only takes one emergency to cost you thousands and have you paying for it for years. If you think that you don’t need insurance, think again. It is much smarter to budget the additional hundred dollars a month than to pay for the rest of your life. Your mom is right, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
6 Marry someone who has the same money sense
Before you decide to date seriously or marry, ensure that the person who lights your fire won’t spend your future. Having an honest conversation about spending habits, goals, and wants, is an important part of having a successful marriage and financial future. Before you say I do, make sure that you do have the same idea about how to spend your money wisely.
Doing these things younger in life will make you much happier later on in life. If you stick to a plan, it will make you a much less stressed middle-ager with a lot less regret.