As a kid I couldn’t wait to become an adult. Mainly because I wanted the freedom to do what I wanted when I wanted. I’d be able to drive a car, eat as much cake as I could bare, and hang out with friends without worrying about a curfew. That’s what I thought being an adult was all about…Freedom! Well now I’m a real adult who is really traumatized! I can’t believe I wanted this so bad. I’d give anything to go back 😭. Well I’m here now but there are a few things I wish I’d known sooner especially concerning money.
Consistently saving money is one of the most important things you can do no matter what stage of life you’re in. When I would get money as a kid it would “burn a hole” in my pocket as they say. I would receive a small allowance from my parents by doing chores or earned money from family members by cleaning or helping with projects around the house. The money would already be spent before I even receive it smh. Let’s just say the neighborhood candy store owner knew my name. Oh and yes I was a heavy kid.
No one really sat me down and talked to me about the importance of saving money. So I learned the hard way that you should always, always, ALWAYS have money saved. Unfortunate circumstances are waiting around every corner as an adult. All you can do is just prepare yourself. In my early 20’s my apartment burned to the ground, my car died, and I went on beautiful cruise to the Bahamas BROKE! My 20’s were pretty damn difficult. Having money saved would have made things much better.
Now in my 30’s I understand the importance of having money saved for emergencies. I feel good that I’m prepared for whatever is lurking around the corner that’s gonna cost me. Recently, the hot water heater went out in my home. Thankfully I had the $2,000 to replace it and bring it up to code. It didn’t feel good having to suddenly fork out that kind of money but I had it and didn’t have to ask anyone. Please save money each time you get paid even if it’s only $10-$20. Every little bit adds up over time!
Boy oh boy credit card interest rates…Do you even know how excited I was to be approved for my first credit card?! I can’t quite remember but I think the credit card limit was like $1,500. I initially thought of this as free money and you couldn’t tell me anything. I was a real adult with a credit card and tingled all over thinking about everything I could buy 🤑. Sooooo I bought everything $1,500 would allow lol. Clothes, shoes, FOOD etc. Unfortunately it wasn’t free money. The bills rolled in but never seemed to roll away.
I continued to pay the bill each month. However, the balance didn’t seem to reflect the amount I paid towards the bill. Yeah…that’s the moment I learned what an interest rate was. I believe my first card had an interest rate of 24%! Yikes! It took forever to pay the card off. Eventually I learned how to use credit cards responsibly. I’m super proud of that. Some adults continue to play the credit card game which keeps them in debt especially if it has a high interest rate. Check out this article on Investopedia for more information about credit card interest rates. (https://www.investopedia.com/articles/01/061301.asp)
This is a big one in my opinion! Now let me start by saying I’m not a financial advisor. This information is what I personally believe in and tactics I currently use. One way to put your money to work is by investing in the stock market. You must invest responsibly or you could risk losing everything. Before you start investing it’s best to gather and retain as much information as possible. Read books, go to YouTube University, or consult a professional.
Don’t blindly jump into investing like I did and lose money. I was under the impression I would automatically double, even triple my money! I started planning my early retirement because I was surely going to get rich quick. Yeah, NO! If it was that easy everyone would be retiring early. Seeing those numbers go up on my investments made me feel so accomplished. Oh but when they went down, way way down I felt like a failure. I couldn’t believe I lost over half of what I invested in such a short time.
- Invest in reputable companies
- Do your research before investing your precious dollars
- Invest in companies you understand
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket (Diversify)
- Focus on ETF’s Exchange Traded Funds to limit risk.
Think of Exchange Traded Funds as a bag of M&M’s. The bag is the actual ETF and the candy inside are different companies. This way I can instantly be diversified therefore limiting my risk. If one company is doing bad I wouldn’t be so affected. Check out this YouTube video on ETF’s. I love watching The Magic of Finance Channel. I’ve learned a lot about investing from Andrei Jikh. He explains investing well and is quite the entertainer. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Co7ih4M4AAg)
You made it to the end yay! Let’s recap. It’s never too late to start saving. Something is sure to happen in life that will require a lump sum of money. It’s really important to be prepared. This is especially important for single parent households that operate on one income. Even if you’re only able to save $10 per paycheck something is better than nothing. For example, saving $10 per week multiplied by 52 weeks would give you $520 in a year. Next, credit cards can really get you in trouble financially. High interest rates will keep you in debt longer. Be sure to use credit cards responsibly. Lastly, do some research on investing in the stock market. ETF’s are a great starting point. Investing today can help secure your financial future. Also, don’t forget to share this financial information with your children and any young adults in your life.