You’re finally an adult – welcome to the world of the 2020s, it’s a great time to be alive! That doesn’t mean it all makes sense, and there are lots of options open to you that your parents and grandparents never had. At this rare point in life, you become an adult with little to no debt, dependants, and a significant amount of freedom to make your own decisions.
It’s no surprise that many older individuals wish that they had taken steps at your age to start planning for the future. Here are our top 5 things to do today to help you get ahead in life.
Learn to Read Your Pay Stub
Yes, there are numbers on your pay stub other than what goes into the bank, and they matter! It’s important to understand what your deductions are and why that percentage comes out, so you can have an idea of what is going to come up come tax time. Many other companies include things like a “social club” fee as well, which is something you need to make sure you agreed to when you were hired. You should also understand how your vacation time works; is it paid out each month, or does the company hold onto it?
Sign up for Freebies at Work
Find out what extras your company has included with your employment. For example, many employees are surprised to learn that the company they work for has a “Preferred Pricing” agreement with a variety of auto dealers, which lets you purchase vehicles for just above cost. There may also be discounts at local restaurants, bars, or gyms, and of course, make sure you know how your staff discount/incentive works.
Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions, as it may be a learning opportunity for a manager as well!
Get Your Rain Jacket On
Like putting 10% of your money away, building a rainy day fund is one of those things you always put off until something happens. And when “something” does happen, it’s significantly easier to handle it yourself vs running to the folks.
Fortunately at this age you shouldn’t need much, but the experience of learning how to build your own fund will be worth it as you move on to later stages in life.
Have Fun but Don’t Be Stupid
While having that rainy day fund is important, you are at one of those rare points in life where expenses are low, assets are low, and there are no dependants to be found! There is always the risk of oversaving and experiencing regret, so make sure you take this opportunity to enjoy your new freedom.
The best way to accomplish this is to build your first budget, making sure that the expenses that you do have are covered, so you know how much you can spend at the pub with your friends.
Hope is Not A Strategy
Wants, dreams, hopes, and goals are all a huge part of the journey into adulthood. No matter what your plan, or lack thereof, you most likely have a want or a desire.
So live it, build it, and plan it.
Because as the years go by, you will realize that what you want requires work, commitment, and effort. Now is the best time to write down what you want, and figure out what it’s going to cost to get there, in terms of both time and money. If this is a habit you can create now, everything will fall into place much more easily.
Looking for assistance in navigating your options? email our team and we will show you how you can get started.