As soon as people turn into adults, they fall for financial pitfalls.
That’s because there are a lot of myths about money widely circulated and believed. People grow up with these money myths and don’t question them. And then, when it comes time to make critical financial decisions, they rely on these myths instead of getting the facts.
As a result, they make decisions that cost them money – often a lot of money. If you want to avoid falling into the same traps, it’s essential to be financially literate. Fortunately, you can start learning before you become of legal age, where independence can immediately expose you to financial pitfalls. Here are a few financial tips to keep in mind as you approach adulthood.
Save Up as Early as Possible
Saving money is a critical skill to have. You can start learning how to do it when you are young. When you become an adult, you will be able to save up for the things you want. It’s a good idea to start saving your allowance money so you can see how it feels to have money in the bank.
You can also start saving up for your future by opening a savings account at a bank. The tactic will help you get into the habit of saving money, even if you have no use for it. It’s also a good idea to start learning about investing. You can grow it by investing it in stocks, bonds, or other investments when you have more money.
You do not have to learn about those financial terms now, but it is a good thing you are near those words as early as your teenage years.
A Mortgage is Your Worst Enemy
Mortgage payments are a huge financial responsibility that can hurt people if they’re not careful. When you become an adult, it’s imperative to prepare how much money you’ll need to pay every month to keep your home. You might want to start saving up for a mortgage soon to avoid getting caught off guard.
You should also be aware of the different types of mortgages available. There are fixed-rate mortgages and adjustable-rate mortgages. You need to understand how each type works before you sign any papers.
The most important thing to remember is that a mortgage is long-term debt. You will be responsible for making payments for 15 to 30 years. That’s why it’s essential to make sure you can afford the prices before signing anything. If you are thinking about getting a condominium unit for sale, you can use your childhood savings as a good starting point.
Credit Cards are Not Free Money
When you turn 18, you might feel tempted to sign up for a credit card. After all, it’s easy to get approved, and you might think of credit cards as free money. But that’s a dangerous way to think.
Credit cards are loans, and you will have to pay back the money you borrow, plus interest. You will also receive fees if you fail to pay. So, it’s essential to use credit cards responsibly.
That means only borrowing as much money as you can afford to pay back. It’s also good to keep your credit card balance low, so you don’t have to pay as much interest. And, of course, you should always make your payments on time to avoid late fees.
Budgeting is a way to know how much money you have and what you can do. It’s essential to learn about this when you are young and practice it as an adult to make decisions quickly.
Get a notebook and write down your income and expenses to start budgeting. You can also use an online budgeting tool like Mint. Then, track your spending for a month to see where your money goes.
After that, you can start setting goals. For example, you might want a new car or a trip. Or, you might want to buy a home. Those goals must be realistic to ensure you can attain them.
Your expenses as a child might start with snacks and candy bars, but it will not always be the case. Life changes and your budget should change with it.
Don’t Rely on Parents’ Wealth.
When you become an adult, it’s important to start living your life independently. That means you should not rely on your parents’ money to get by.
Your parents might be able to help you out in the short term, but you should try to become financially independent as soon as possible. You will not have to worry about money if your parents run into financial trouble.
Of course, it’s not always easy to become financially independent. If you are still in school, you might have to get a part-time job to help make ends meet. Once you graduate, you should start looking for a full-time job that pays well.
You can also start saving up your own money to have something to fall back on in case of an emergency. Try to put away at least 10% of your income into savings. That way, you will have some money to cover unexpected expenses.
Becoming financially independent is a huge responsibility. But it’s essential to start preparing for it as early as possible. The sooner you start, the better off you will be.