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Money Management

Make These Monetary Moves While You’re Young

Get your finances on track while you still have some wiggle room.

I’m coming up on the tail end of my 20s, and I like to think I’ve managed to idiot-proof my finances for the foreseeable future. Of course, this idiot-proofing came about thanks to a combination of advice from trusted sources and some good old fashioned trial and error. It’s best to get your finances in their peak state while you’re still young, since you may still have a couple of safety nets to fall back on if things go sideways.

The first thing you should absolutely do when you’re young is get an emergency fund going. You don’t need to dunk the whole fund in the jar from the word go, just start making little contributions to your savings whenever you have some extra cash lying around. Even $20 every week or so will start to add up after a while, so in a few years’ time, you’ll have a source of spare funds to fall back on in a health or housing emergency.

Of course, to have spare income, you need to have a decently-paying job, preferably one with benefits. It’s something of a right of passage to work a few crummy jobs in your 20s; I’m actually of the opinion that everyone should work at least one awful retail job in their lives just for the perspective it brings. That said, you shouldn’t stay in the awful retail job if you can help it. Putting aside the fact that you shouldn’t force yourself to work a job you despise for longer than necessary, climbing up the career ladder is important to guarantee your standard of living. As you get older and have to put up with more costs like insurance, healthcare, and maintenance, you need to be sure you’re making enough to realistically cover all of it.

Oh, and if you haven’t already, get a credit card, and preferably a rewards card. You should get your first credit card when you’re young and use it for miscellaneous things like groceries and gas to build up your credit score. If you use it enough, you’ll start getting cash rewards, which you definitely want to take advantage of.

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