Twenty-Five Financial Lessons for my 25th Birthday

Birthday Fiscal Financial Advice Credit Savings Investment.jpg

25. Start saving for retirement now, every little bit will help your future

24. The best way to get out of credit card debt is to not get in it in the first place

23. The slightly pre-owned car will always be a better choice than the brand-new car

22. Buying a home isn’t always more beneficial than renting. Don’t rush into it

21. Live within your means. The snowball of debt and compounding interest will be much more miserable than missing that show, not taking that vacation, or attending that happy hour

20. The best way to get a pay increase is to prove you’ve earned it and then directly request it

19. Don’t sacrifice your long-term comfort for impulse gratification, but also don’t forget to live in the now due to fear of the future

18. Buying a gift for someone else will always be more satisfying than making a purchase for yourself

17. A $150 pair of jeans that will last you 5 years is a better investment than anything from Forever 21. Quality over quantity

16. Set annual financial goals for yourself and make an effort to meet them. Max out your IRA, set money aside for a down payment, invest a portion of each paycheck

15. Be mindful of your credit score; it’s only there to help you

14. Do your research and open a credit card with rewards that will benefit you

13. Educate yourself on investing. There’s nothing better than watching your money multiply while you do nothing

12. You’re never too poor to donate

11. Money isn’t everything, but it does make life a lot easier in many aspects

10. Create a spending template rather than a budget. Limiting your expenses to a certain dollar amount gives you more freedom than setting a specific budget for each expense category

9. Never take out a loan on a depreciating asset

8. If your company offers you a 401k, contribute as much as you need to receive the maximum match. Never turn down free money

7. If you don’t have the money in your bank account, you can’t afford it. Your credit card is a way to earn rewards, not a supplemental income

6. It’s better to be wealthy than appear wealthy

5. Be aware of your finances. Track your income and your spending. Educate yourself on your financial habits and be mindful of your strengths and weaknesses

4. You don’t have to be rich to invest

3. Keep 6-9 months of expenses in a liquid account. You never know when you’ll get a medical bill, have a car issue, or (unfortunately) lose your job

2. It’s better to pay taxes rather than to get a tax refund. Receiving a tax refund essentially means you gave the government an interest-free loan

1. Spending money on an experience will always be more memorable and rewarding than purchasing a material item

Again, Zack Mathis is the best for dealing with me drowning on about all things credit. Seriously, you're a saint.