I am officially a grown up, in fact, I think I may be officially middle aged. I have a husband, a child, a steady job, have bought and sold several houses and have an impressive mortgage to show for it.
Now that I am officially a ‘grown up’ I feel that I now have a certain amount of wisdom and knowledge that I didn’t used to possess. I’m certainly older and wiser than I was 15 years ago, and there are definitely things, primarily around money, that I would do differently if I could go back in time.
Here is some advice that I would give my younger self about money should I happen to come across her:
Saving is good
Saving is a very very good thing to do. It will give you security, options and confidence, not to mention discipline and a sense of pride and achievement when you see your balance grow. Do it. Even if it is just a little bit each pay. Just do it.
Debt is bad
Debt is bad. Try to avoid it for as long as you can. Paying interest on a brand new fridge freezer is quite frankly a waste of your hard earned money. p.s. everything you borrow on your student loan you have to pay back (it’s debt).
Paying only the minimum on your credit card (or any debt for that matter) is a Very Bad Idea
To start with, see point 2 above. Interest is a (financial) killer. High interest is doubly so. Those drinks out on Friday night that you put on your credit card will end up costing you far far more than they are worth if you only pay the minimum.
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should
Just because they offer you a loan or HP doesn’t mean you should take it. Just because you can take cash out on your visa doesn’t mean you should. Just because they offer you an overdraft doesn’t mean you should take it. Think about points 2 and 3 above.
Start saving for your (my) retirement NOW
Two words – Compound Interest! By starting to save for your (my/our) retirement now, instead of 10 years down the track you’ll have built a nice little nest egg thanks to the wonders of compound interest. Every little bit helps and you (I/we) will be thankful of it come retirement (or purchasing a first home).
Knowledge is power – or in this case, knowledge is money
Know where your money is going. Don’t just ignore the bank statements or credit card statements when they come in and don’t be scared of them! Look at them, check what is going out and coming in. Knowledge can save you huge amounts in bank fees, it can pick up fraudulent activity on your credit card and it will keep you honest about how much you actually spend on a night out with the girls.
What advice would you give your younger self should you come across them?
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The information contained in this article is of a general nature and should not be taken as advice. It reflects the opinions of the writer only.