Over the years, you hear lots of tidbits and tips that stick with you. These have come from various places- some from my personal finance class in high school, some from my sister who is a fashion merchandiser, some from random internet tips; they don’t have a specific source. I’m writing all of these from memory, though, if you do see something on here that you’re sure is yours, let me know and I’ll credit you. Here is the money advice that has stuck with me:
-If you can’t afford two of it, you can’t afford it
-When buying clothes: can you think of at least three outfits that can be made with it? If not, don’t get it. Also, never buy anything that you don’t absolutely love.
-Start saving/investing for retirement as young as possible- even if you’re still in high school. If you have some sort of income (even if you’re making minimum wage flipping burgers), you can put away a small percent of each paycheck.
-When buying a home: to get a rough estimate of how much house you can afford, before you even apply for a mortgage, use this simple trick: your yearly income x2, plus ½ of it. So, if my yearly income is $50,000, I could buy a $125,000 house.
-If you save $1 a day, you’ll have $365 at the end of the year.
-Go one day a week without spending anything. Put the savings into another account.
-Use cash whenever possible. It’s easier to keep track of- and sets a limit for you. If you only have $40 in your wallet, you can’t spend more.
-Always try to pay IN cash for large purchases. Loans and interest are never good. Save, save, save.
-Set up an emergency fund with at least three months of your salary worth in case you lose your job.
-Buy a $100 Visa gift card and hide it somewhere in your house- but don’t forget about it. Having $100 that no one knows about could save your life one day.
-Always carry at least $20 cash for emergencies, and a dollar in quarters. It can be used for short cab trips, to buy a phone charger in a pinch, or just to pay for a meal when you forget your card. I know they’re old now, but you can still find payphones as well.
-But DON’T carry large amounts of cash- never more than $100- it’s dangerous.
-Always have another job lined up before you quit your current one.
-And finally, advice of my own: money does not equal quality of life. Always do what makes YOU happy. You spend 8+ hours a day at your job. That’s one fourth of your life. And if you’re miserable at your job, that’s a fourth of your life wasted being miserable.
Photo Credit: Peter Megyeri