9 Lessons That I’ve Learned About Money In My 20s
As I get closer to 30, I’ve started reflecting on the things that I’ve learned so far in my 20s. Naturally, some of the first lessons that pop into my head center around money. These are the things that have laid the groundwork for my present and future financial success. Some of them just intuitively make sense, while others were learned the hard way via trial and error.
Budgeting. Figuring out how to create and maintain a budget, track expenses, and track cash flow has saved my life.
Separating my bank accounts. Using separate accounts for checking and savings is a given, but using separate accounts for my bills and for my discretionary spending has helped tremendously with budgeting.
How to be frugal. I no longer feel the need to buy stuff to fit in with, keep up with, or impress other people. Now I have to talk myself into buying things...
The Reserve. This is money that I’ve set aside and reserved for things that may come up but weren’t budgeted. It serves a similar purpose as an emergency fund, but can be used for things that aren’t necessarily “emergencies”.
Negotiating. Salary, rent, car price, deals/discounts on phone, cable, internet service, etc.
Building and/or repairing credit history. Fortunately, I was really good about using my credit card responsibly which led to a strong credit history straight out of college. After graduating, my main focus was creating and executing a plan to tackle student loan debt.
Spending money more wisely. I noticed that some of the inexpensive items that I was purchasing were having to be replaced quite frequently. I noticed that I had a lot of stuff because at one point that felt good. I cut back A LOT. I decluttered and realized that having a bunch of stuff was no longer important to me. Now I invest in quality vs quantity.
How to take risks. I’m naturally risk averse. I’m a perfectionist. I’m a planner and I like to know the outcome of things before I jump. My 20s have taught me to invest in myself, try risky things, and be fearless. Being young, single, and childless, now is the time to try things out.
Eating out at restaurants and/or ordering takeout burns up A LOT of money, yall. Cooking for myself and eating out less frequently frees up a nice chunk of money in my budget, and meal prepping saves both time and money.
What financial lessons are you learning/did you learn in your 20s?