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Your 20's are a time of exploration, learning, and adventure. But for far too many, they are also a time where financial mistakes are made --- mistakes that could have been avoided, but instead end up accumulating and costing much, much more than necessary.
Think about it, in your early 20's generally you are finishing up school, many students have taken out student loans, or lines of credit, and often using it for more than just tuition and books. Then once school is out, for most students employment goes one of two ways — either they are fortunate enough to get an entry level position in a job within their field, or they end up employed for the sake of employment.
Think about it: in your early 20s, generally you are finishing up school, and like many students, you've taken out student loans or lines of credit. Then once school is out, employment goes one of two ways for most students — either they are fortunate enough to get an entry-level position in a job within their field, or they end up employed for the sake of paying their bills.
Waiting to fix your money problems is not an option. And in fact, it's now, early in your working years, that you have the chance to make some really great or really poor decisions with your money. To get you on the right path right now, here are the most common money mistakes people make in their 20s — and solutions to avoid them altogether.
1. Living Off Credit Cards as Opposed To Living Within Your Means
If you are looking for one way to ensure that you are stuck living with debt as opposed to actually building wealth and taking control of your money, it's to live off of credit as opposed to actually living within your means. Now some people say that all credit cards are bad, and there is definitely something to be said about strictly living within your means. However, if you can limit your credit cards and pay them off every month they can be a great way to improve your credit score and help you to prepare for the future.
How to Avoid Making this Mistake
One way to avoid this mess entirely is to get a budget and stick to living within your means. The free Mint app makes this super easy to do. You input a bit of financial information and link up your bank accounts, and the app makes suggestions to help curb your spending, track and pay your credit bills on time! It's a safe and trusted service that has absolutely exploded in popularity in recent years thanks to its ability to help people get their spending under control.
2. Not Setting Financial Goals
Goal-setting is one of the most important steps to gaining financial freedom. So, stop dreaming and start doing! Sit down and really think about what you'd like to achieve in 5 years, in 10 years, and even in 40 years. Think about how much money you'll need to achieve these goals, and then start saving for them, automatically.
How to Avoid Making this Mistake
The easiest way to save is to set up automated savings with your online banking. Choose an amount of money that works for you (anywhere from $5 to $50 is a great start) and set your account to send that money from your chequing to your saving account once a month, every two weeks, or every week.
Then, once you have some savings, invest it! Available in the U.S., the Betterment investment app creates an investment portfolio to reach your money goals and gives you access to financial experts who can answer any of your questions. For Canadians, the Wealthsimple app builds a diversified investment portfolio and automates your investing. Both apps use technology to lower the cost of money management and increase your earnings to reach your goals faster!