Millennial Money: Trial and Error, and What You Learned in Your Twenties | Lifestyle

Twenties are a time of self-inquiry, where you can find a foothold as an adult and make money mistakes.

Here are five money lessons from my last decade to save you from learning difficult ways and to convey some knowledge when I’m in my thirties.

For several years, my main financial goal was to go out as much as I wanted and leave enough money to cover my rent at the end of the month.

But in the end, it turned out that the morning was messed up and little savings weren’t realized. My partner and I decided to set goals and make plans. We wanted to buy a house. This meant moving to a cheaper city to save money.

Tip: Know your passion to know your goals.

Certified financial planner Pam Rodriguez in Sacramento, California, suggests identifying what brings joy and developing a financial plan to create more moments.

“Personal finance is much more emotional than mathematical equations,” says Rodriguez. “Even if you have to add numbers, you won’t take action unless you feel something strong.”

For example, if you want to buy a home to host friends and family, identify the amount of down payment and closure costs you need and take the time to work towards that savings goal.

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Understand the budget system

For most of my twenties, my budgeting system was defined by a lack of budgeting. Eventually, I sucked it up and started tracking spending. At first, I felt lazy if I didn’t keep track of where all the penny went. But I soon realized that keeping a simple budget was my style.

Tip: Please select Budget system It reflects who you are.

If you’re an analytical person, a detailed budgeting spreadsheet may be a good choice. But if it’s less hassle, a budgeting app may help.

No matter how you budget, it’s important to understand at least monthly comings and goings.

“When people see their spending, they don’t understand where the money goes, so it’s a surprising moment,” said Sydney Divine, an Atlanta-certified financial planner.

I knew that if you were working as a contract gig and didn’t have enough cash to cover your taxes, you would have to pay the IRS monthly for years to come. Did you have a hard time learning this in your early twenties?

Tip: Find the cause of the problem and find a solution.

In my case, the problem was that I ignored my finances and didn’t think about my tax obligations. We solved the problem by actively managing the budget and fulfilling our tax obligations. It was also helpful to get a new job that wasn’t a 1099 gig.

“You have to understand: is it the same mistake you’ve made many times? Is it a pattern?” Says Christine Papelian, a certified financial planner at Phoenix. “If it’s a new mistake, now’s your chance to get going. It’s rarely too late to change your behavior or habits.”

For example, if you have a habit of delaying payments, consider setting up automatic billing payments so you don’t have to worry about tracking different due dates.

Building financial strength

The past year has been a short-term intensive course in the midst of instability. And while the recent crisis has been extraordinarily serious, there is no doubt that unexpected financial challenges will arise throughout life. For example, my car’s alternator broke and ran out of emergency funds, but at least I was able to avoid borrowing to cover that cost.

Tip: Make savings a must.

“Focus on building emergency funding,” says Rodriguez. “Everyone needs one because everyone faces an emergency.”

Consider using direct deposits to transfer a portion of each salary to your emergency deposit account, or set up automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account.

Take advantage of that long time horizon

Youth can be wasted for young people, and so is their financial timeline. At least for those who don’t grab it.

I made a lot of mistakes in my twenties, but retirement savings are one of the areas I didn’t ignore. As soon as I realized the power of compound interest using my retirement calculation tool, I set up a regular savings to my 401 (k).

Tip: Take advantage of these years to increase your retirement savings.

In any case, people in their twenties have a spillover effect on their retirement age. And saving for old age can be difficult, especially if you buy a home to support your family. Hiding more cash now will prevent you from catching up in later years.

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This column was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Sean Pyles is a writer for NerdWallet. Email: Twitter: @SeanPyles.

NerdWallet: Budget 101: How to Budget Money

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Millennial Money: Trial and Error, and What You Learned in Your Twenties | Lifestyle

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