Classes to teach young adults about finances usually are not part of high school programs. This is unfortunate because it can leave a lot of young individuals clueless about how to manage their finances, apply for loans, and stay or get out of debt. States are starting to remedy these flaws – as of last year, 21 states require high school students to take the right course in finance, and 25 states require schools to offer economics classes to their students.
It should at least help the next generation. But for people who are already out of high school, let us take a closer look at some of the important things they need to understand about money. These tips are designed to help people live their best financial lives and take advantage of the fact that the younger people are, the more time their investments and savings have to grow.
Learning self-control is very important
If the person is lucky, their parents taught them this skill when they were a lot younger. If not, they need to keep in mind that the earliest they learn the art of delaying their gratification, the sooner they will find it easy to keep their personal finances in check. Although people can effortlessly purchase goods on credit the minute they want them, it is a lot better to wait until they have actually saved up the funds for the said purchases.
Do individuals really want to pay an interest rate on a box of cereal or a pair of jeans? Debit cards are equally handy and can immediately take the money from the owner’s checking account, keeping them from racking up interest-bearing balances.
If individuals make a habit of putting their purchases on the cards despite not paying bills in full every month, then there is a good chance that people will still be paying these debts in ten years. Credit cards are very convenient, and paying them promptly helps individuals build good credit scores. Some of these cards offer excellent and appealing rewards.
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Except in emergencies, people need to make sure they always pay their balances in full when the bills arrive. Also, people should not carry more cards than they can track of. This tip is very important for creating a healthy and credible credit history.
Kids should control their financial future
If they do not learn to manage their funds, other users will find other ways to mismanage them. Some of these individuals may have bad intentions, like commission-based and unscrupulous financial planners. Others may have good intentions but may not know what they are doing, like their grandmothers, who really wants them to own their own home even though they can only afford one by taking on risky adjustable-rate mortgages.
Instead of relying on other people for good advice, kids nowadays need to take charge and read a couple of books on finances. Once they are armed with the right knowledge, they should not let anyone catch them off guard – whether it is essential individuals in their lives who slowly spend the funds without the owner’s knowledge or friends who want them to go out and spend tons of money with them every night.
Make sure kids know where the money goes
Once people have gone through a couple of personal finance books or readings, they will realize how vital it is to ensure that their expenses are not exceeding their monthly income. The best possible way to do this is through budgeting.
Once individuals see how the cost of their morning Starbucks adds up every month, they will realize that making manageable and small changes in their everyday expenses can have a considerable impact on their financial situations, just like getting a salary raise.
In addition, by keeping recurring regular expenses as minimal as possible, individuals can save a lot of money in the long run. Even if they can swing amenity-packed apartments now, picking something simpler could let people afford to own a house or condominium sooner than they expected.
Start an emergency account
One of the finance’s most-repeated incantations is “pay yourself first and foremost.” No matter how much individuals owe in their credit card debt or student loans, and no matter how low their monthly salary is, it is a good idea to find some amount of money in their budget to save every month in case of emergency.
Having funds in savings to use in case of emergencies can keep individuals out of financial trouble and help them sleep a lot better at night. Also, suppose the kid gets into the habit of saving funds and treating it as non-negotiable expenses every month pretty soon.
In that case, they will have more than just emergency funds held up – they will have vacation funds, retirement money, or even funds for down payments on homes or condominiums. It is easy to put these funds into a regular savings account, but it earns little to no interest.
People need to put their funds in high-yield accounts, short-term CDs or certificates of deposit, or MMAs (money-market accounts). Otherwise, the inflation rate will erode the value of these savings. Kids need to make sure the rules of their savings platform permit them to get to their funds quickly in case of emergency.
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Start saving money for retirement
Just as kids’ parents probably sent them off to grade school with high hopes of preparing them for success in the real world which seems decades away, they need to plan for their retirement in advance. Because of how compound interest works, the sooner an individual starts saving, the less principal they will have to invest in ending up with a certain amount that individuals think they need when they retire.
Why start saving money for retirement if the person is in their early 20s? For instance, a person starts investing in the market at a hundred dollars per month, averaging good returns of one percent per month or twelve percent per year, compounded over forty years.
Their friend, who is the same age, does not start investing until they reach thirty years old. They invested a thousand dollars per month for ten years, also averaging one percent per month or twelve percent every year, compounded monthly.
After ten years, the friend will have saved more or less $230,000. The other person who saved money at a young age will have over a million dollars in their retirement account. Company-sponsored retirement schemes are an excellent choice since individuals get to put in pretax money, and firms will usually match part of their contribution, which is like having free funds.
Contribution limits tend to be a lot higher for retirement funds like 401K compared to IRAs or Individual Retirement Accounts. Still, any company-sponsored schemes that people are lucky enough to be offered will be a step closer to getting good financial health.
If the person does not have easy access to a plan, they should not worry. Self-employed individuals have various options for setting up a retirement plan. Others can open an Individual Retirement Account that allows them to set a certain amount of money every month from their account and deposit it directly into their IRA. Even if it is not a considerable sum of money, it will add up to something very useful sooner or later.
Health is wealth
If meeting monthly insurance premiums seems pretty impossible, what will individuals do if they need to go to the hospital – where a single visit for an injury like a concussion or broken bones can cost a lot of money? If they are uninsured, they should not wait another day to apply for good health insurance.
It is a lot easier compared to what most people think to wind up in car accidents or falls and a trip down the stairs. If an individual is employed, then their employer may offer these insurances, including high-deductible plans that save on expensive premiums and qualify for HSA or Health Savings Accounts.
If people need to purchase insurance on their own, they can do some research about the scheme offered by the insurance marketplace of ACA or Affordable Care Act. There are government schemes, or the state may have its own plans. Check out quotes from multiple service providers to find the best possible rates and see if you can qualify for subsidies based on your monthly income.
If you have health problems, know that an expensive scheme could be more cost-effective for you. Do some necessary research. If the person is under twenty-six years old, then their best option may be to stay on their parent’s insurance if they have it. It is an option allowed since the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
If individuals can manage it, they can offer to reimburse the expenses for additional costs of keeping them on the plan. It also pays to take steps as soon as possible to keep yourself very healthy, like eating vegetables and fruits, maintaining the right weight, exercising, avoiding alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs as much as possible, as well as driving defensively.