When we are younger, we feel like time is unlimited and we have it all to ourselves. When it comes to our money, we will be spending every cent as it comes through. We miss opportunities because we aren’t prepared for them or we feel it’s not yet the right time, or worse, we think time is on ohr side. All this is done whilst one is forgetting that they don’t have a script of how to take care of their money or that this is an opportunity one needs d to go after.
That was my life a few years back and if you are reading this article you in for a game changer, because as young as you are, now is the right time to start being right with your money! I am going to share three money lessons l wish someone had taught me during my twenties.
- Lesson 1 – The Importance of being Intentional
Being intentional with your money means that you understand how money works and that you vouch to be in charge of your finances. Is it possible to be in charge of your finances? If you would have asked me this question back then l would have said NO its not possible. Why? Because as much as l still remember, l used to make lots of money but l would always find debt following my money wherever it went.
My money life was messy because l was not intentional on how l treated my money. Money is energy, so if you treat it negatively in return it will also give you a negative vibe. So, being intentional with your money starts with changing your money mindset. From a poverty mentality to an abundance mentality.
Being intentional with your money causes for a positive money attitude, were you are mindful of where every one of your cent goes . Being intentional with your money calls for a call to action on how you spend your money. When you are intentional with your money you don’t spend your money on every chance you get, because you understand the abundance mentality which commands you to take care of your money, so that your money will be able to take care of you.
- Lesson 2 – Importance of Saving and Investing
Whilst many people confuse saving and investing, in this article l will share the differences so that you will be able to get it right with your money. Saving is when you put money aside for your short term goals which can be building an emergency fund, paying off a debt, saving to purchase a laptop or saving to buy a car.Inshort, saving is putting money aside to spend later, you are just delaying your gratification. Instead of going into debt you put little money aside and spend it when its enough
Investing on the other hand is now concentrated on your long term goals. You are putting your money aside so that it can generate more money and that money can start working for you. There are different ways to invest your money. What l always advise is to do thorough research before parting ways with your money. A few examples you can use to invest are buying shares, investing in property or investing in a business.
With investing it comes with an 8th wonder of the world which is known as compounding effect, this is the case where your money multiplies and if you start investing during your youthful age you will find it easier to retire early. Then you will be unlike us, who only got to understand this magical recipe at a later age.
- Lesson 3 – Understanding the Importance of living a Bad debt free life
As l mentioned above debt used to follow my money everywhere it would go. Looking at it now l used to have bad debt. With bad debt l am talking of that debt which one can take for consumer needs or to purchase depreciating assets. The money mistake l made in my youth age was borrowing money to buy clothes and shoes or even going out to just have fun.
Looking back what used to pressure me into this was because l felt l was missing out on the latest fashion and trends. This is a recipe for financial disaster. My advise to all the young is avoid bad debt and always ensure that if you decide to borrow ask yourself these questions. Why am I borrowing? Is it going to increase my net worth after l pay off the debt or decrease? What good is it going to have on my finances?
Probing the questions will help you weigh the options if borrowing is a good decision to make or if you should rather save for that item and buy when you can afford. Truth be told, debt is expensive because you will pay interest and there are also additional charges. So if you use it for depreciating items the moment when you finish paying off the debt, you wont be using that item at all.
Besides debt being expensive, it is also not good for your mental health. You don’t want to live that life that you will be avoiding to answer your phone because people will be looking for their money. To avoid a mental break down live within your means and don’t use debt as an extension to income.
These are the most important three lessons l wished l had someone to tell me about. Hope you will implement them in your financial journey and lets always remember that our money matters and we must be in charge of it
Tarie Manyonga a Financial Literacy Expert