34-year-old Cincinnati resident Jennifer Graham also warned about the dangers of credit cards, which may seem tempting at first in adulthood. Such easy access to credit gives a false impression of one’s financial situation and ultimately leads to a cold and harsh reality.
“Just because you can get a credit card on your first ‘transaction’ doesn’t mean you should. To avoid temptation, at most he sticks to one credit on his card or never uses one,” he says. “It’s so easy to pile up credit card debt, and even when you start making money, it’s hard to dig it out.”
How to think about student loans (and how to pay them off)
Taking out a student loan is likely to be the biggest financial decision you’ll ever make when you’re young, so it’s important to get it right. College isn’t for everyone, but many see college as an investment in their future. I think. So treat college with the same level of financial scrutiny as any other investment.
A 29-year-old reader from Burlington, Vermont, shared her regret for not weighing her options before taking out a $90,000 personal loan. She is currently $155,000 in debt.
“Learn how student loans work. I knew nothing about interest rates and blindly signed with a private company,” she advised. “I wish I had taken the time to do more research.”
Hogan, too, said he spent most of his 20s drowning in student loans after graduating from college in 2009. But while it’s important for her to settle for a consistent repayment strategy, she believes she doesn’t have to beat herself up to enjoy her 20s.
“I really let student loan debt consume all my waking thoughts,” Hogan said. I think I could have done a better job balancing my living expenses and not spending it all on it.”
When you’re older and wiser, set goals in life (then calculate the cost of those goals)
As you start to settle in with age, Hogan advised, imagine what you want your life to look like going forward. The key is to have clarity and a sense of purpose.
For some, it might be starting a family or buying a home. But for others, it might be something as simple as taking a yearly vacation or being able to support an aging parent.
money, whatever it is tool It should help you live the life you want. Hogan says it helps formulate a financial strategy.
“I used to talk about how I was a aimless wanderer with money. I don’t know, throw it in the bank, throw it in the loan, throw it in the market when you canThat’s generally not a good way to do it,” she said.
“What is it that makes your life truly exciting and worthwhile, enhances your quality of life, enhances your life satisfaction? “How much will it cost me to go on a family vacation each year? cost? Once you know that, the rest is much easier.”
For Short, who lives in Arizona, a trip to Germany has brought her joy. To save her, she turned to technology.
“There are a lot of great apps out there that take money out of your checking account after analyzing your spending and then allocate that money to your savings account when you decide not to spend it,” Short said. “I saved $1,500 for my Oktoberfest trip, but I didn’t lose the money the app debited my checking account.”
Graduation from savings to investment
The idea of thinking of money as a tool for building the future is inherent in the idea that we are no longer simply living in the present. Part of this shift in thinking has to do with aging. Nothing makes you think about getting older like back and knee pain. — but part of it is also financial.
At some point, you’ll want to start thinking strategically about different ways to grow it, rather than just having money come and go. If money is your tool, it has more uses than a Swiss Army knife, and how you use it is up to you.
“I put off the idea of investing until I was ‘older,'” says Miles of Chino Hills. But investing doesn’t have to mean a solid suit or millions of dollars, when it means saving $10 each month into your retirement account. Do some research and start small.”
Anat said those just starting out as investors shouldn’t feel pressured to gravitate towards new things that are getting a lot of attention right now. Instead, keep it simple.
“Put cryptocurrencies down. I’m talking about a silly little investment,” Anat said. “I don’t really care how you do it. let’s go.”
In no time, you can start shifting some of your income into these investments just like you did with your savings. You can use investment apps that redirect money to the market from
The most important thing for the 44-year-old man in Los Angeles is to give his investments time to grow in the market and contribute to his savings consistently across different types of investments. “It doesn’t matter how long it takes,” he said. “It’s the easiest way to get a diversified portfolio of stocks that matches average market returns in a fraction of the time and at little to no cost. Just get started and automate.” .”
It can be overwhelming to start pondering your investment strategy. Especially if you’re not a financially minded person or from that world.
But Hogan believes financial people are trying to make it look more complicated than it really is to keep others out. “Traditional gatekeeping is about making it look complicated and saying, ‘Oh, this isn’t for you. This isn’t for you, it’s for us.’ Older white men tell other people they can’t play ball,” Hogan said. “It’s not true at all. Investing is very easy.”
Hogan recommends new investors take the time to learn the basics. index fund works or what S&P 500 teeth. And most importantly, there is no shame in asking for help.
“There are a lot of sources out there, and the financial industry itself is motivated to keep you a secret. Knowing that, you can find the right source for you.” ‘ she said.
Learning how to invest in the market can feel empowering, especially as a woman, said a 37-year-old reader from Chicago. “It can be done passively. ETFs or Acorn Contribute to an account, or simply a 401(k). But that’s the best way to really grow your money,” she said. is a major factor in the same for many whites and people of color.
“The stock market and investments are available to everyone. Don’t be intimidated by old white male assholes to take advantage of it,” she said.
Automate, Automate, Automate (especially if you’re planning to retire)
We are very lucky to be alive now, although it may not always be the case. Because it’s never been easier to use technology to both save and grow your money.
Whether you’re investing or saving for retirement, experts and readers stress how important it is to start automating your household finances. This includes cases where a company automatically sets aside a portion of your paycheck to enter a 401(k) or IRA, or using an app to analyze and edit your finances. may be
For those who can afford it, it’s important to keep things on track so you don’t have to think about it.
“We are very fortunate to live in an era where things can be automated,” says Hogan. “The thing I tell people is, ‘I don’t know what my life will look like when I’m in my 60s or when I want to retire, but I can automate my investments and savings so I know I’m doing the right thing. No need to think, no interference with your future self.”
Short from Arizona works as General Manager. When she meets new hires, she’s an evangelist who will set up automatic payroll deductions on her 401(k) account and convince anyone who can see compounding.
“It’s ridiculous how much setting this early will affect your ability to retire in the future,” she said. Maybe, but after a while you forget about it and the money you save starts accumulating without being a burden.”
everyone is different
Both experts we spoke to for this story say that some of the worst financial advice they’ve heard is that what works for one person works for another. Everyone has their own baggage and everyone wants different things, so always take financial advice with a grain of salt before applying it to your life.
According to Anat, this is especially true for people of color. “Take advice from someone who looks, lives, and thinks like you,” she said. This system was created specifically for white, cis, and hetero men to succeed, so if you follow their advice and try to make money, it won’t work.
In this spirit, Anat believes we should also be skeptical of those who try to convince us that money is a “mindset.” life. “There are things we can control to fix it and things we have to pressure those in power to do the right thing for us,” she said.
For some, that means acknowledging that life’s greatest financial opportunity is a birthright. In fact, one of her 37-year-old readers in Chicago told me how lucky she feels to have been born into a middle-class white family that she can sometimes rely on when she needs financial help. “Honestly, nothing I could do could erase or defeat the natural advantages conferred by the environment I was born into.” It’s a shame it’s not the same for everyone.”
Hill in the Bronx has lived other experiences. Born into her low-income family, she said she had to escape her past financial trauma.
I feel cheated. For example, I’ve heard her family advise against opening a savings account in her 20s because her income is low. “I was actually poor, but what a relief it was to receive funds that I could easily have saved for emergencies if I had a checking account with no commissions to deposit them into. There have been several times over the years,” Hill said. she said.
But little by little, Hill is now saving up and building credit. In doing so, she is also building the financial future she wants.
“Money, debt and credit no longer need to overshadow my family,” she said. “There’s finally room for light. It will start with the games I’m hosting.”