What’s the harsh truth about your money in your 20s? What do you need to accept about personal finance right now?
I truly believe that this world is designed to separate you from your money.
Before you think I’m some weirdo or some pro-conspiracy theory sort of dude, allow me to explain myself. Everything that you want to do costs money. The moment you leave your home you’re going to spend at least a few dollars. Nothing is free and the prices of everything are constantly going up. In my community you have to pay extra if you want to throw out more garbage. Everything costs money, taxes are always going up , and it feels tough to get ahead.
It’s simply far too easy to spend your money these days. It feels as if everything is designed to take your money away from you.
What can you do about this harsh truth about money? You simply need to accept it and be conscious of what you do with your money. You don’t need to be paranoid. You just need to understand that things cost money. You need to understand that you won’t get ahead if you spend all of your money or if you buy crap any chance that you get.
Should you become tight with your money? Whenever I make a comment about how something costs too much, some friends will be quick to call me cheap. In my mind, cheap is when you don’t pay for value and don’t understand the significance of spending money in certain situations. You don’t need to be tight with your money. You just need to be smart with where you spend your money and what your money-related goals are.
To tie everything in together, I firmly believe that you need to stand behind the personal finance basics if you want to get ahead:
- Pay yourself first. Before you spend on a dime on a new haircut or a $6 piece of cake at Starbucks, I believe that you need to pay yourself first. You can do this by setting up an automatic payment at your payroll office or with your bank account. Just set it and forget it. Let your money accumulate while you spend the rest.
- Spend less than you earn. I’ll preach to the death of me the importance of spending less than you earn. This ties in with the next personal finance basic.
- Don’t buy it if you can’t afford it. If you don’t have the money for something then don’t freaking buy it! I don’t care if that couch has zero percent financing for the next 24 months or if you “need” that dress shirt for a “networking” event. Save the money first. Then buy whatever it is that you want. You can argue that you need a new car for work or a home mortgage, but that’s a discussion for another day.
- Learn to make more money. Instead of squandering your time away in your 20s you can learn how to make more money. The more money that you make, the more that you can save. Sounds simple enough.
If you live by those four money management basics, you’ll be able to get ahead while your friends fall behind. The world can very well be after your money. You just need to be smart with it.
Is there another harsh truth about money that you wanted to share with us?