If you could go back in time and talk to your 21-year-old personality about your financial situation, what would you say to her? Would you tell her to skip the spring break trips to Cancun or the Bahamas and pay off her car faster or would you tell her to live it up and worry about finances later? Chances are good that you’re going to tell her to make better financial decisions. Why? Because the financial decisions you made at 21 have a big impact on where you are financially today.
Don’t be Afraid to Negotiate
One of the biggest regrets most women have is not learning how to effectively negotiate. This might mean anything from the price of a new car to the raise your boss wants to give you. At 21 you tend to have more guts and courage (perhaps foolishness is how many of us would label it) than you do at 30 or even 45. Learning to negotiate isn’t easy for everyone, but it does become easier with practice. If you teach yourself now, great, but think about all the money you could have saved if you’d learned how to do it a decade ago.
If you could go back in time and talk savings with your younger but much less wise self, you’d very likely mention savings. How about this; savings is something you should consider a monthly expense. It’s not something you consider after you’ve paid your bills. It is a bill. Most people say that 10 percent of your income is a good savings plan, but why not begin with 15 or 20 percent when you’re young and make that a good habit while you haven’t any bills of your own to pay? Then you’ll grow up with that habit and keep it for good.
Buy a House
If you could have purchased a home at 21 instead of renting, you would have done it. Especially since that might have saved you 5 or 6 years of rent that amounted to nothing more than the release of your security deposit. You might not have been able to afford a massive home that people dream of, but you’d have something to sell and make a profit off of right now.
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