When you're in your twenties, it's easy to forget that planning for a solid financial future should be at the top of your to-do list. At this point in life, things like building good credit and staying on a budget can seem, in one word, boring. But the truth is, you need the have a handle on the "boring" things in order to enjoy life's many appealing options: whether that's travel, owning a home, starting a business or maybe even supporting a family. It may not have the same allure as Sunday brunch or three-day festivals, but the sooner you get on board with becoming financially wise, the faster you can reach your bigger goals.
It's Quite All Right If You Don't Know The Answers
Google has made us think that we can answer every question we have at the click of a button. But when you don't know exactly what to search for in terms of finances, or if the answers you find are the best ones for you, the whole process can feel overwhelming. Don't worry. Asking for help is not only O.K., it's the smart thing to do now that you're getting your ducks in a row. Just as you'd see a specialist for your broken tibia, you'll want to select a financial advisor who can help guide you through these important money management decisions.
Make Your Job Mean More Than Just a Paycheck
It's not easy to get amped up about finances when you're jobless, but once you finally land your next great gig, you'll want to make a solid impression. This goes for any position, whether it's your not-quite-dream-job or a perfect fit. Find ways to become invaluable at work by offering fresh ideas and growing relationships with colleagues and mentors from day one. You'll find that small changes in how you approach tasks can boost your satisfaction and productivity in the long run.
Have the Confidence to Work Out Your Worth
The art of negotiating your salary is an important skill that should be honed early and often. Remarkably, only 38 percent of millennials in this study negotiated their rates, and that's a mistake that could end up costing thousands of dollars throughout your career. So, be bold and ask for what you're worth. Your future pocketbook will thank you.
Become Besties with Your Credit Score
Your credit score can be your best friend, but only if you treat it right. Tending to it with good habits, such as paying your bills on time and keeping your credit card balances low, can help you get access to better interest rates when you're ready to buy a house or a car. If you're under 30, it's critical to avoid these common mistakes that could be ruining your credit.
Splurges Shouldn't Be a Regular Thing
Save, and then save some more. Experts recommend keeping at least six months of expenses worth of funds saved up in case of an emergency, but research shows most of us wouldn't even be able to cover a small mishap. Figure out a way to grow some dough for unforeseen events, such as an accident or an injury, so that one bad day doesn't cast a long shadow. Learn about the best savings products that are right for you with this handy crash course.
Put Retirement (Somewhere) on Your Radar
When you're at this age, retirement is as hard to imagine as an entire city of driverless cars. Student loan debt and figuring out how to get the next big promotion are probably more immediate concerns. Though it might seem strange now, working on this much-needed retirement checklist could pay huge dividends down the road. It's truly never too early to get started. The goal is to stock away around 15 percent of your income for retirement, so experts recommend starting small. And whether driverless cars are a city staple in the future or not, you'll still be financially stable.
Say, 'I do!' to a Budget-Friendly Wedding
Though research shows that many millennials are choosing to forgo nuptials altogether, a walk down the aisle could still happen before the big 3-0. Interestingly, expensive weddings are actually linked to higher rates of divorce, and both events can be rough on your bottom line. Bookmark these tips on how to plan a luxury wedding on a budget if you think you're about to get engaged.
Figure Out If You're Ready to Put Down Roots
To buy or not to buy, that is the question. And there's no right or wrong answer, despite what you may have heard. If you're not exactly sure if you want to settle down in one place for now, owning shouldn't stress you out. But if you think you're ready to take up a mortgage, then perhaps it's time to shop around. This "Money 101" calculator and guide will help you see what makes the most sense now and later.
Rebound From a Dream That Didn't Go as Planned
Dreaming big can sometimes catch up with you by the time you're in your thirties. Sometimes the start-up life or the investment in your buddy's app might not have worked out as planned. It's all part of the game of life, but it's important to regroup as part of 'adulting' 2.0. Get honest about your debt and move closer to becoming debt-free with these clever tips for bouncing back.