The last money management lessons you will ever need
There are many lessons you need to learn when it comes to managing your money, and this post is going to be a whirlwind tour of all of them. From getting out of debt to telling the difference between a want and a need, we’ve got you covered!
One thing that’s always been true about money is that knowledge is power. It also helps when it comes from someone who’s been there before.
So why not just read one of the thousands of other posts on the internet that tells you the same things?
Because this one is written by me. A young millennial just like you who’s grown up in this economy and knows first-hand what it’s like to be confused about money.
I’ve been there, and I know I’m not alone. So I’m here to help make it easier for us all.
Everyone’s financial situation is different because everyone has their own story, but there are some common traits among all of us.
It’s up to me to help everyone learn how to successfully navigate this ever-changing world of money.
Here are 9 lessons that I learned (and still learn) along the way.
The last money management lessons you will ever need.
- Know the difference between a want and a need.
Need: Food, shelter, clothing, and water.
Want: Video games, electronics, and plasma TVs.
You’ll be surprised how much money you can save if you’re smart about this one. Money is expensive but it doesn’t have to be that way! I’m good at saving money; I reduced all of my expenses to their bare minimums beginning in 2013. My motto was “need or not,” and I used it when making decisions on what to buy.
Need: A meal, a house, and a car.
Want: A new iPhone, a TV show on Netflix, and an Xbox One.
I used to worry about the new winter jackets and summer swimsuits we had to buy for our kids; I had to make sure they were “needs” and not “wants”. And here’s the secret: we didn’t need those things at all! You can make do without certain things if you’re careful about what you buy.
- Save early, save often.
The nice thing about saving money is that it comes back to you with interest. A little bit here and there can really add up over time. Even if you’re young, start saving even just $20 per paycheck; it will make all the difference in the world by the time you’re old.
- Investing is for everyone.
If you think investing is only for rich people, or people who live in Silicon Valley startups or work on Wall Street, then you are wrong; everyone should be investing! If you want to get rich one day (and why wouldn’t you?), then start reading about investing! about investing because it truly is the key to becoming wealthy over time.
I’m sure you’ve heard the stereotypical phrase: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” It’s true; don’t put ALL of your money into one investment because it’s too dangerous. But what about putting the majority of your money into a well-diversified portfolio? This way you can spread out your risk and I guarantee that it will be safe.
- Pay yourself first.
This one is not rocket science, but it’s about being smart with your money. Pay yourself first every month, then pass on the rest to everyone else until you have nothing left at the end of the month. Then you’re done with that money for the month. It’ll be enough to cover all of your expenses for one month’s worth of expenses, so don’t worry about it if you have to pay bills until the last minute or are running low on money.
- Save up for retirement before you start making any money.
Don’t wait until you’re rich to start saving. Even if it seems like you don’t have much money now, that’s exactly why you should save as much as you can as soon as possible. It takes time to build up enough money to retire (and still live) comfortably, but it’s easier than ever because the cost of living is so low.
- Pay off your debt or take out student loans responsibly.
If your debt is bulking up on top of everything else in your life, then it’s time for you to make sacrifices (if necessary).
Pay off your debt if you can, because it will boost your financial well-being and help you reach your goals faster. However, if paying off your debt is out of the question or you don’t know how to prioritize what needs to be paid off first, then go ahead and take out a student loan.
- Buy a car with cash and pay it off in two years.
This one takes the cake! You will miss out on a lot of free movie tickets and free concerts if you wait for the perfect time to buy that car/plane ticket/entertainment system. You’ll pay more money in interest that way. Instead, buy small things regularly with cash so that they are paid regularly too.
- Don’t blow your money on things you won’t remember.
Most of the time when people are in the office complaining about their previous night out, they aren’t talking about how drunk they got; they’re talking about the food they ate and how it cost them $50–$100 per person and left them with indigestion and a hangover for days after. It’s not worth it! Get together with friends and make your own dinner instead; cook something simple like pizza or spaghetti. Then you can spend the rest of the evening talking, laughing…and having fun!
- Find a mentor who can help you get ahead.
A mentor is someone who’s been ahead of you for a long time and can help guide you to where they are. You can find them online, at the office, or anywhere else, but finding a mentor is one of the most important money management lessons you can learn. I have two mentors whose wisdom I have followed for years—one of whom was my former boss–and I am so grateful for them because they were able to help me along my journey.
You don’t have to read hundreds of boring financial blogs every day; just follow these 9 money management lessons and you’ll be good to go!
Conclusion I know that I can’t change the world, but I can change my own financial circumstances. Thanks to the 9 money management lessons I’ve shared with you today, my financial circumstances have changed for the better.
You have a choice: You can either complain about your low income or you can take your situation in hand and learn from what others have done to change their financial circumstances. Ultimately it’s up to you! But these 9 money management lessons will help along the way–as long as you’re willing to put in the work and sacrifice that’s necessary.
Money isn’t everything…but it is everything.