Halloween is quickly approaching, which means now is the scariest time of the year. Between horror movie marathons, haunted hayrides and spooky costumes, it’s hard to make it through October without being scared one way or another. What can be the scariest thing to a young adult? Well, it’s growing up. Having once feared growing up myself, I’ve put together some advice on conquering those terrifying milestones!
Don’t Fear Financial Responsibility
Not having to think too much about your finances while you were younger was nice, right? Your parents may have helped pay for your meals, insurance, cell phone bill and maybe even helped you fund your first car. However, they probably had the power to take things away whenever they felt fit. They could take your cell phone away when you used more data that you were allotted, or make you hand back your car keys after you come home after curfew. Many young adults fear financial responsibility, as it’s completely new to them. But, with complete financial responsibility comes freedom! The stress that comes with taking responsibility is nothing compared to the feeling of finally being free to do as you choose. Being able to relieve your parents and support yourself is very liberating. Just make sure you create a budget to stay financially stable. Live within your means, which means live on less than you make. Pay your bills on time to avoid any fees. If you can, try to have three to six months of expenses set aside in an emergency fund for when those unexpected expenses pop up. And an important one – learn to read the fine print. Before signing your name or checking the acknowledgment box, make sure that you completely understand what you’re signing on for. If it’s a gym membership, know how long you’re locked in for. If it’s a credit card, know exactly what the fees and interest rates will look like down the road. And if you have any questions or need help, ask how your credit union can help to keep those good vibes going!
Don’t Fear Financial Jargon
The financial world is loaded with technical concepts and complicated terminology. Although these words might seem daunting, I encourage you to not shy away from them. Learning some of these words and what they mean can give you an advantage when you take the plunge into adulthood. After learning what compound interest meant, I started saving for retirement. A little research revealed that I would save more for retirement if I only saved from age 25-35 than if I saved from age 35-65. This is because the interest you earn each year is added to your principal, so the balance doesn't merely grow, it grows at an increasing rate. Understanding the meaning behind terms such as a 401(k), diversification, inflation, and the difference between gross income and net income has been extremely helpful to me in my daily life. I even put together a blog in the past on helping you understand financial lingo. With that said, don’t be scared of all that financial terminology! Learning what the terminology means might just pay off.
Don’t Fear Making Mistakes
Don’t be afraid to try things because you’re afraid of failing. As the great Wayne Gretzky always said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Growing up is all about embracing and making changes. No, I’m not telling you to be reckless, as being continuously careless can lead to a financial downfall. I’m telling you to apply for that job that you’re not confident you qualify for. You just might ace the interview and get a nice pay raise. If you can fit it into your budget, buy that new car. You might even save money by avoiding continuous repair costs on your old vehicle. If you make a mistake along the way, just know that you are young and there is still time to recover. Treat the mistake like a learning opportunity and you’re well on your way to a successful adulthood.
What scares you most about entering adulthood? Let me know!