Basic Financial Advice for Young Adults

Posted: October 10, 2012 in Finance
Tags: , , ,

So, you are in your twenties or early thirties, and you are starting to get a handle on your finances. You may already own a home, and you may already have some savings, or you may not. Regardless of what you have or don’t have, there are some financial tips that pertain to anyone, regardless of your credit score or the amount of money you make. Here are some tips from some of the top financial advisors in the city (who I happen to work with!), free of charge!

· Establish Credit. Do this by taking out necessary loans (for example, a car loan) or getting a low-credit limit credit card that you pay off every month. No credit is just as bad, if not worse, than bad credit, and will result in you paying higher interest rates when you make a big purchase, like a house.
· Pay Down Debt. Whether it’s private loans or student loans or credit cards, work on paying more than the minimum every month. You will end up saving a lot in interest. Start with whatever has the highest interest rates (mostly likely credit cards, especially store ones), and save the lowest interest loans for last (most likely student loans).
· Save for Retirement. You know that 401k you decided not to sign up for because you were broke? It’s not too late to do it now. If your place of employment offers one, they are offering you free money. You don’t want to work in your golden age; you want to relax! A little bit goes a long way when it comes to saving for retirement. Even if it is just $20 a month, it’s a start.
· Work Two Jobs While You Are Young. This way, you can save more money and it won’t take as much out of you as it will while you are older. There are a lot of work-from-home ideas that you can do in your pajamas and not spend gas money doing!
· Budget. A lot of people have no idea where their money is going. Sign up for Mint.com and sync all your accounts through it. You will be amazed at where your money goes and what you could be saving every month if you don’t, for example, buy Starbucks three times a week.
· Get Health Insurance. If you don’t have it, get it. I know, it seems like an added expense. But if something serious happens to you and you don’t have health insurance, you will not recover from it. It will haunt you for the rest of your life, and it isn’t worth it.
· Shop Around. A lot of people don’t know that they could be saving a lot of money with their monthly bills. Car insurance, cell phone service, and many other bills could be lowered by going elsewhere. You could also threaten to go elsewhere. I had a client that told her credit card company she was going to transfer her balance to another card because the new company had a lower APR. The original company asked what it was, and went even lower than that. If they want to keep your business, they will listen to what you have to say. If not, go elsewhere. Simple as that. Even my mom got her cable bill lowered because she told them she wanted to switch to dish! It doesn’t hurt to try.

These are basics, but more in-depth advice is yet to come, if you are so inclined. Just remember- if you take care of your money, your money will take care of you!

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