Independence Day is more than just gathering to blow things up and overeat.
As you history buffs know, it commemorates controversy, self-sufficiency and true freedom – so what better time to talk life lessons? Here’s a few things every 20-something should learn.
LESSON No. 1: Whatever you do, start early.
You’ve heard of compounding interest. Embrace it. To retire early, you don’t need to save a lot of money; you just need to be saving small amounts at a young age.
LESSON No. 2: Be on time and avoid the “coffee flip-off”.
Being punctual doesn’t come naturally to everyone but it means a great deal in the real world. Not only does it show responsibility but also respect for the people you work with.
Most importantly, don’t be the person who walks into a meeting late with a fresh cup of coffee. It says “my caffeine was more important than this project and your time.” If you miss your morning cup of coffee, just grab it later.
LESSON No. 3: Financial advice isn’t one-size-fits-all.
Aside from the basics (save more than you spend, have an emergency fund, pay your bills, etc.) everyone’s situation is different.
Your goals, income and spending are important factors in financial planning, so what works for someone else may not work for you. Instead, figure out what you value and what that means for you financially.
LESSON No. 4: Don’t fall in love with “things”.
The Beatles said it best in their song, Can’t Buy Me Love. Many people are under a false impression that stuff (material things) will make them happy.
That’s why so much money is wasted on impulse purchases or trends they won’t appreciate in a year. If you’re going to blow you’re money, it’s better spent on experiences and memories rather than possessions.
LESSON No. 5: You do have time for everything on your list.
Ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? You might just be putting your time in the wrong places. For instance, the average person spends 24 hours each week watching tv and 10 hours on social media!
If that sounds familiar, you’ve found where your extra time is going. Once you cut back on distractions and time-wasters, you’ll be shocked what you can accomplish.
LESSON No. 6: Understand debt and know what to expect.
It takes a great deal of mental strength to correct a bad financial situation, so be sure to make good choices now and be a responsible borrower. Whether you’re the borrower or cosigner, read the fine print and understand the terms of your loan.
With an iHELP loan, there’s no fees and borrowers choose from flexible repayment options. Plus, deferment and forbearance options exist for those experiencing financial hardship.
Our last piece of advice for today: it’s never to late to wipe the slate clean and write a new chapter. Your 20’s may be the most important decade of your life, and now is the time to start getting ahead.