Note: this is a guest post from Martin over at Studenomics.
- Setting aside at least 10% of our income towards retirement. Preferably more.
- 3 to 6 months worth of living expenses saved in an easily accessible emergency fund.
- No debt – other than a mortgage or student loan.
I wanted to write about what I’ve been doing recently to ensure that I beef up my net worth so that it’s as high as possible by the time I hit 30.
Invest in yourself.
This goes without saying. I truly believe that your 20s are the best time to invest in yourself. The more that you learn, the more valuable that you’ll become. Whenever anyone asks me anything about investing money, I ALWAYS suggest that they invest in themselves.
How can you invest in yourself?
- Formal education. This is anything related to college. You can earn a new degree, attend graduate school, or earn certificates.
- Attend conferences. I’ve gone out of my way to attend as many conferences as possible so that I could meet successful people in the field. This has greatly helped me with spotting opportunities and trying new ideas out.
- Buy books, courses, and anything that allows you to learn. Learning is key. There’s nothing I enjoy more that a good book and a cold beer. A book will go for $20 and it comes with thousands of dollars of information.
I’m trying to enroll in a few fitness-related classes coming up just so that I can improve how I approach training. If you invest in yourself in your 20s you won’t regret it.
Invest in income generating assets.
Do you have any assets that generate an income? I invested my money into a rental property at an early age because older friends always told me that it helps to have income generating assets. You don’t have to start off with a rental property. You can try to build a business or work on anything else that can help you make more money in the future.
Work harder to make extra money.
How hard are you working? Could you work a little harder? Are you blindly chasing passive income?
Too many of my friends are blindly going after passive income without actually increasing their real income. You could easily score a part-time gig or try to ask for more hours at your current job. Every dollar counts. When you make more money, you can really dent your debt.
Master your spending.
It’s not easy to be good with money. Trust me. After blogging about personal finance for over 4 years, I still make foolish mistakes. My only suggestion is that you take the major expenses (cars, insurance, monthly subscriptions) first and then you go after the daily battles. Just to combat my spending on food, I took the whole month of November to track how much money I spend on food.
If you can slowly improve your spending, it’ll benefit you in the long run because that’s going to mean more moolah in your savings account.
That’s what you can do to get the most out of your 20s and increase that net work. When I talk to older buddies, they often regret not taking their 20s seriously enough. It’s when you have the most energy and feel on top of the world. The only thing that can hold you back is you.
This guest post comes courtesy of Consolidated Credit.
Credit card debt consolidation provides a means for you to regain control of credit card debt when you overspend and the monthly bills begin to exceed what you can afford. With debt consolidation, you can simplify your payment schedule, reduce your monthly obligation and avoid damaging your credit by missing payments. So how do you consolidate debt successfully?
The first option you can consider for do-it-yourself debt consolidation is called a credit card balance transfer. This method allows you take the existing balances from your high interest credit cards and transfer them to a new credit card that has a much lower interest rate. By consolidating the debt at a lower interest rate and reducing the payment schedule to just one payment on your debts per month, you end up paying less in total than you did on all of the debts separately. What’s more, since interest charges don’t build as fast on the debt, many consumers often get out of debt sooner even while paying less each month.
Bear in mind if you decide to use this strategy, you need to find the credit card that has the lowest possible interest rate for balance transfers. Be sure to specifically look for the interest rate (APR) on balance transfers, since this is almost always different from the standard interest applied to your regular purchases. Some credit cards may offer low APR on purchases, but high APR on balance transfers, so you need to make sure you have the right credit card for the job.
You can go online and do a search for balance transfer credit cards in Canada. If you have excellent credit, you may even be able to find a card that offers an introductory zero per cent interest on balance transfers. This means that for a limited period of time (usually about six months), every payment you make goes directly to reducing the principal debt instead of covering interest accrued during the month.
A second do-it-yourself debt consolidation option is to use an unsecured personal debt consolidation loan. In this method you take out an unsecured loan through a bank, credit union or other financial institution and use the money from the loan to pay off your credit card debts. With zero balances on your credit cards, the only unsecured debt you should have left is the loan. Assuming you have excellent credit scores, your debt would have a much lower interest rate with a debt consolidation loan and often better payment schedule as well.
If you have bad credit, you can still consolidate your debt, but you will need the right assistance. Contact a not-for-profit credit counselling agency to speak with a trained credit counsellor about consolidating your debt with a debt management program.
This guest post comes courtesy of Consolidated Credit.
Note: this is a guest post
How do you know you have the right credit card for your personal spending habits? If you like to put as many purchases as you can on your credit card, you want a card with a low interest rate to keep the balance from getting too far out of control.
One way to find a credit card with a more affordable interest rate is to use a newly launched site called www.lowestrates.ca. This site provides an online comparison resource to help you find the lowest credit card rates from leading providers across all of Canada. Instead of letting the banks dictate what they think you should be paying, LowestRates.ca helps you save time and money as you find the right credit card to balance your personal financial situation.
The holiday season means LowestRates.ca is in an even bigger giving mood, and has launched the first ’12 Days of Piggy in the City’ promotion. This contest will display photos of the website mascot ‘Piggy’ in 12 cities across Canada in front of 12 distinctive landmarks in those cities. A new picture will be added to the contest up until Christmas Eve, and for every entry submitted to the contest, $1 will be added to the prize pool up to a maximum of $500.
If you correctly guess the most locations and landmarks, you will be announced as the winner on Christmas Day as a special Merry Christmas from Lowestrates.ca. As the winner you will be able to put the $500 prize towards paying off a credit card balance – and given the shopping season that would be a very good idea – but you could also choose to use it towards paying part of the mortgage on your home, or towards your car insurance.
In keeping with the spirit of giving, a local food bank in the winner’s city will receive a special $50 donation as part of LowestRates’ commitment to helping Canadians, a commitment that is especially important at this time of the year. To learn more about the contest, please click here.