10 Things I Wish I Knew About Money at 18

10 Things I Wish I Knew About Money at 18Learning to master money will give you the financial freedom to live the life you want, reducing the strain it takes on most people’s lives.  If you can take these 10 principles and tools and put them into practice, money will be less of an issue as you get older.

The Basics:

  • Start Early: As a young man time is your friend, it gives you both the opportunity to make the right decisions and the mistakes which you won’t be able to bounce back from later on. Learning the basics of money will help you understand, save and make money as you age.
  • Waste not want not: wasting money is by far the biggest crime any young man commits. Letting the impulse take over on that game you simply had to buy but barely played. Resisting these impulses for unnecessary spends will save you 1000s over the years.
  • Keep on Track: The best financial habit to get into at a young age is tracking your spend. Know exactly what you have and what you want to spend it on. Budgeting will really help you stay out of the black.

Thinking for the Future

  • Slow and Steady Wins the Race: There is a lot to be said for saving a little a lot. If at 18 someone saved just 10% of their yearly income for a year imagine how much they’d save. Putting a way little bit of change and unused money here and there will give you the chance to more wisely invest it when you have the opportunity. Don’t be the guy who has a great idea but has no cash to fund it.
  • For a Rainy Day: At 18 a young lad may not think he needs a rainy day fund, or more realistically put, emergency fund, but when your car breaks down or apartment floods, this money will come in handy. Being able to call on an emergency fund will one day save your bacon, set one up before you need the money
  • Credit Scores Matter: A poor credit score can be the difference between you getting a loan for a house and being rejected. Learn to use a credit card effectively, it will pay off later.
  • Learn to Invest: Learning to consistently and purposefully grow your money will always pay off. Being able to take some of your saved finances and over time steadily grow them will gift you greater financial freedom in the long run. Recommend resource to learn more is US Investor.gov investing guide – http://investor.gov/investing-basics
  • Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: Have a plan for your money, knowing what you spend is a good start, but setting out a detailed plan for what you want to use your income for short-term and long-term is critical. (link to guide of financial planning)

Making it Last

  • Sharing is caring: That is, learning to share the costs of communal items and costs with a roommate/s will at least half the cost of some items. Split the cost of anything from washing up liquid to aftershave.
  • Invest in Quality- When purchasing something you will be using for a long time, like a vacuum cleaner or a fridge, invest in a quality product. If you but cheap it will cost you more money in the long run fixing or frequently replacing something you could have paid slightly more on and have had it last. A larger one of payment can save your both time and money in the long run.

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