These are the money lessons I wish I knew in my early twenties, or even earlier. They are presented in no particular order and hope they may help you with your personal finance journey:
Okay, this was going to be an obvious one. I wish I knew what investing was, how to invest and the importance of starting to invest from an earlier age.
The majority of my money was left sitting in a Cash ISA – it would have been working away a lot better in a Stocks and Shares ISA. Investing earlier would have had that little bit more time for compound interest to take effect.
If you have not started investing yet, check out these 5 steps you can follow to start investing.
Be open to talking about money
If I was more open about talking about money with friends and family, I think it would have benefited me greatly.
I also believe this extends to surrounding yourself with likeminded people who are open to chatting about personal finances and supporting each other on personal finance journey’s.
Through this blog, MissPersonalFinance Instagram and bringing up such topics with my family and friends it has not only benefited me, but also my family and friends.
Plan for my Future
I believe it is never too early to start planning for my financial future, and retirement. Luckily I have always been contributing into my workplace pension since starting my full time job, and I eventually learnt that this will not be enough – I have to put more money aside for future Simi.
This was when I learnt about increasing my workplace pension contributions and also opening my Lifetime ISA (LISA).
Money can be replenished, health & wellbeing can not
When events have happened in which my loved ones were struck with illness, nothing else mattered aside from health and love.
Having an emergency fund and financial security are definitely benefits during these situations. However these family events have shown me that family, health and enjoying life are crucial to me.
These situations have also taught to prioritise my money on things that bring me happiness and create memories – for me this is travel and spending time with my loved ones.
Get educated to use a credit card
Whilst many people wait to open a credit card, or are too scared to ever open one, I luckily opened my first credit card aged 18. I set up a direct debit for it to be paid off fully every month from my current account.
The sooner I became aware that, if used sensibly, credit cards can provide many benefits. Now I manage to have an excellent credit score, which I believe is largely down to my credit cards being used and paid off in full.
For my tips on how to make credit cards work for you, check out this blog post.
Passive income is income that is automatically received, with little to no effort from you. This is in comparison to active income which is only earned by directly translating your time in return for money.
Earning passive income and understanding the importance of doing so is only something I have become aware about in the last year or so. Some reasons for why passive income is so important, and income that I hope to increase:
- Less reliance on my 9 – 5 pay, spreading income sources over more than just one income stream
- More income available for investing for my future – including house deposit and retirement
- Chance of early retirement
- Possibility of gaining more time for what I love to do
Working for your money
Over the years I have learnt that working for your money provides a lot more satisfaction compared to having things given to you. The fact that I can pay for my own travel and support my lifestyle without going into debt is a privilege and something I am proud to have done without relying on others.
Do not spend too much time saving just a little
I have found that spending a lot of time over just saving a few pennies really is not worth my time and hassle and sometimes safety – however I wish I knew this earlier.
For example I landed in Kyiv at 3am and whilst public transport would have saved a lot of money – it would not only take more time, but the ease of using a taxi and not requiring to plan my public transport route at such crazy hours would made more sense. This has not always been the case, when I first solo travelled I always took the cheaper (and often more hassle) route just to save a few pounds.
I now hope to prioritise ease and safety – especially considering taxi prices outside London are usually fairly reasonably priced.
Experiences over Materialistic Things
I will always remember the activities I have participated in – due to the joy provided. Such as skydiving over Dubai, canyoning in Switzerland or cycling and wine tasting along River Danube in Austria. These will stick with me forever not just in my memory but also in video and photo footage.
This does not mean I am anti branded handbags, sunglasses etc. but for me prioritising memorable experiences provide me far more value and contentment.
Be Lifestyle Inflation Aware
Since starting my full time career my base salary has increased, which is great. The hard part is to ensure my expenses do to not increase inline with my salary increase. I did not become aware of lifestyle inflation into at least 2 years into my career, let alone tracking any expenses or my career income.
Find out what exactly lifestyle inflation is and how you can prevent it in this post.
What money lessons do you wish you knew earlier on, or what ones do you think you have done well at? Share your comments below, I’d love to hear from you.