Most people’s 20 are measured by the good times you had, and the even better memories you created. Few can remember any investment they made. we all can remember how much we spent at the bar last weekend, or that time you passed out on your friends couch with your shoes on. But can you remember the last time you made money in your sleep. We tend to sleep through our twenty’s, and thirty’s. Then by the time we wake up, we lost years of valuable growth. Your 20’s are the most important part of your life, so treat them as such. Why because these years will set the stage for the rest of your life. You want to go in to your 30’s with a built up savings, and having mutable sources of income. Not mutable maxed out credit cards.
You should strive to Live below your means. Your 20’s are about building that strong foundation so you can go out and have fun in your 30’s and 40’s. Be able to retire early, and enjoy the life you created. Not work a job you don’t care for untill you no longer have that drive to change the road your on. life is about traveling and having new experiences. It’s about getting to do all the things we consider fun , when we want to do them, not when we get to do them. To do all these things later in life you will need…. no drum roll necessary, Money. You will need what you made your whole life, but no longer have. Some will say well i do have a nice savings put back. That is good for you, but your money is losing value everyday. As inflation drives up the cost of all products you consume. Your money loses value. yes a saving account will pay you interest, but compare that to the rate of inflation… now you see the problem we all face. What is the solution you may ask, well that’s where investing comes in to play.
You should start by getting a paper and pencil to figure out what your financial situation actually is. Start with your monthly income. Add up all sources of your house hold income. The next step will be to add up all your bills. Add up all your out going expenses, like your rent, your utilities, your car payment, and all those unforgiving credit card payments. Any fixed amount you pay monthly. Now you should be able to figure out what percentage of your monthly income goes to bills. Ideally you would like less than 35 percent of your monthly income to go to bills. Any where from 35 to 50 percent is considered acceptable. If you are currently above 50 percent. I hate to say this, but you are living above your means. People gain wealth by acting poor. People go broke by acting rich. You need to make some changes I can’t stress this enough. Find an apartment that’s cheaper than where your currently staying. Go with a cheaper cell phone provider. Pay off your credit cards to cut out some bills. There’s no point to investing if you are in credit card debt. Paying all that interest and investing is counter productive. First things first Take care of your credit card debt. Now that you got your monthly bills below 50 percent of your monthly income, you need to figure out what you spend on a day-to-day basis.
In other words your fun money, and daily expenses. Like going out to eat. Going to the bar, and playing pool. Takeing that girl you like to the movies. All of theses are fun but not necessary. Eat at home instead. Invite your friends over for a fire in your back yard. Take that girl to some place cool no one knows. You don’t need to spend money to have fun. Your fun money, and daily expenses should not add up to over 30 percent your monthly income. Daily exspeses is what you must spend every day to live. Like the gas it takes for you to get to work. What you eat for breakfast, lunch, and diner. The energy drinks you buy to wake up in the morning. The gum you chew. All these expenses and your fun money should add up to be below 30 percent of your monthly income. If it’s not, I hate to say this again. You are living above your means. Try drinking coffee you make at home everyday. Start packing your lunch. Cut out that pack of gum a day habit, you will be surprised by the money you can save.
Now you take the final 20 percent of your monthly income. This is the money you will be saving and investing with. Notice I said saving first. This Is not what you wanted to hear but it’s what you need to hear. It’s a good rule of thumb to have 6 months living expenses saved up. Yes 6 months is a lot but it’s not impossible by any means. Take the remaining 20 percent of your income and save. Don’t invest yet. Why because you most likely don’t have the knowledge or capital to jump on a good investment when you see one. Use this time to educate your self. Hit the library talk to the people around you, and find out what they do for investing. Watch you tube videos to get a basic understanding of what you want to invest in. While you’re doing this your savings is growing every month. Don’t touch it. Leave it be. You will thank yourself one day. Now that your savings is starting to get close to that 6 month mark. You can start to divert some of these founds to a separate account for future investments. Feel free to only save 12 percent, and put the other 8 percent away for future investments. The more you have in your savings the more you can allocate to your investment fund.
When you reach that goal, and have 6 months worth of savings. You may begin putting 20 percent of your monthly income away for investing. At this period you should be ready to jump on an investment opportunity when you see it. Weather this be in the stock market, reality, or even starting your own business. You will have the savings, the capital, and discipline to achieve your goal what ever it maybe. And it all started in your 20’s.