From 20 and Beyond
Young people today are not living in the same financial culture that their parents did. In fact, according to analysts today, young people are straddled with more student loan debt, credit card debt, and less salary than the previous generations. If you’re young, or possibly young at heart, you know all too well how difficult navigating the financial world can become. It’s for that reason why any advice that you can take with you today is vital, especially if your goal is to get ahead of debt and get out of having to live with your parents down the line. No matter where you’re at financially, take the following bits and pieces as simple things that you can do right now, while you’re young, to overcome the issues that others will no doubt run into.
Know Your Credit Score and Take Notes
The first major thing that all young people need to know about finances is that you can end up with terrible options if you don’t manage your credit score. There are plenty of free resources available that will let you check your credit score and figure out where you’re at. Once you get your report, pay close attention to what it says, and fix any errors that you think are present. The last thing you want is to pay for things that you aren’t responsible for, and that can happen if you aren’t paying attention to your scores.
Don’t Rely On Credit Cards Often
There’s nothing wrong with having a credit card, and if you are able to get one, great! However, you should learn how to use it wisely, focusing on only utilizing it for emergencies, and paying it off each and every month to ensure that you are not overrun with credit card debt. Responsible use of a credit card can not only help build your credit score, it will open up doors for you in terms of career, apartment hunting, and much more.
Avoid Taking Credit Hits
To ensure that you are not negatively impacted by credit, you will want to look into financial institutions closely before applying for anything. Do not apply for a car loan, a mortgage, or even a credit card until you’re absolutely sure that you want to go forward with one. Credit inquiries can hurt your credit score, so don’t apply for 10 credit cards, or try to get a car loan unless you’re financially ready to take on what is to come after the fact.
Start Saving Now!
There’s no time like the present to start saving. You don’t need to have thousands of dollars to start, just get in the habit of putting away money right now. You can start with a piggy bank that you literally put dollars into, and then grow into something larger. Right now, a good round number to aim for is $1,000. More than half of all people in their 20’s have that amount, and according to analysts, more than 70% of young people have a steady saving’s account. This is your chance to be different, save money where you can, and literally put it away.