In my short 24-ish years I have learned a lot of things I really wish someone would have told me (or at least warned me!). But I got to learn the way everyone else did, trial and error. Who knows, maybe if I knew these things years ago I would be 7ft tall and a millionaire (disclaimer- you will not be 7ft tall nor a millionaire).
- Your credit score can make or break your existence. Use Credit Karma and constantly check your score to see where it’s at and keep an eye out for if there is a sudden change. Do not have late payments, negatively closed accounts or outstanding balances on things. Your credit score impacts the homes you can buy/ rent, your interest on your vehicle, and basically if you’re allowed to breathe or not.
- The importance of servicing your car. There’s a reason to change your oil every 5,000 miles and to get your tires rotated- trust the process. When you neglect other things (annual dr visits/ taxes) the repercussions are always worse. Servicing your car is the exact same. Take care of that huge chunk of metal and it will take care of you.
- Keep your mouth closed. At work, at home, in mixed company- keeping your secrets secrets will only pay off in the end. Don’t over share about information you wouldn’t want the entire world to know, because a lot of times the entire world will end up knowing.
- How practical safes/ fireproof lock boxes are. You know, those big metal things people keep guns or money in. Get your self one of the small ones, just big enough for your personal documents like your social security card and passport type items. Start putting your spare cash in there too- you will be surprised how you won’t spend the money if you can’t see it.
- The importance and danger of credit cards. On the one hand credit cards are awesome for online purchases, building your credit and as an “oh shit” fund in case you popped a tire. On the other hand if you are not careful your credit cards can be the downfall of your credit score (see number one).
- You need to have car insurance, and health insurance. Health insurance since it’s the law, and smart in case you accidentally chop your arm off. Car insurance because why in the hell would you not have it. If you get in a wreck, your car is stolen, Godzillla smashes it to a million pieces- chances are you don’t have the funds to go out and buy a brand new car all over again.
- Learn to budget your money through an app, Dave Ramsey, or through YouTube videos about budgeting. Know what your account balance is at all times, and don’t make impulse buys.
- You will die if you don’t drink coffee. Okay, “die” might be a little strong. But really, I am nothing with out coffee.
- Invest in your 401k if you have one, or set up an alternative retirement savings. Even if you are only 20 and can only contribute 3% of your income- do it. Additionally, look into having savings automatically withdrawn from each paycheck into a savings you can’t touch- helpful for when Godzilla does smack down your car and you have to uber.