6 Financial Habits to Begin When You’re Young

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You know what they say — old habits die hard. So, if you have bad financial habits when you’re young, they’ll be tough to break when you’re older. When trying to buy a house or get a loan, you shouldn’t also be learning financial literacy from scratch. The time to know is when you’re young.

Habits to Begin When You’re Young

Many financially savvy adults started developing good habits at a young age. However, figuring out those good habits when you’re young can be hard. Here are six financial tips to get you started on the road to financial security.

1. Start Building Your Credit Early

Getting a credit card might seem like bad advice for a young person trying to build good financial habits. But getting that card can be a good thing. Your creditworthiness shapes a lot of your financial options as you enter adulthood. Qualifying for a loan, buying a car, and renting require good credit. A credit builder card can help you build that credit to make big purchases later.

Of course, getting a credit card also means developing good credit card habits. It would help if you didn’t use it to spend money you don’t have. It would help to demonstrate that you can pay off the balance you amass—pay in full and on time. If you can do this, you’re off to a great start financially.

2. Set Savings Goals

As shocking as it may seem, many Americans don’t save money. According to Northwestern Mutual, the reason is that 49% of adults don’t know how much they should spend versus save. They don’t have a clear roadmap or plan for saving. Designing a savings plan won’t seem as difficult if you set savings goals when you’re young.

If you’re an intelligent child, you can start a college savings fund and watch it grow. However, many kids don’t have the financial resources to do that. That doesn’t mean you’re out of luck if you’re a young adult. You can start by growing an emergency fund.

The unexpected happens all the time. It would help if you prepared whether you need to travel to urgent care or your car breaks down. Set a savings goal that realistically fits your budget. You can round up the change from each purchase or set aside two dollars a day. Many methods exist to save, so pick what’s best for you.

3. Learn the Budgeting Basics

Speaking of saving, a budget is one of the most effective tools in your toolbox. Without a budget, you’re liable to spend little thought on where your money is going each month. A budget is an excellent tool for teaching people about money management. No matter your age, you can benefit from learning how to budget. Plenty of free budgeting apps are out there to help you get started. If you’re a self-starter, you can also build one independently.

Plus, creating your budget will help you better understand your finances. If you’re making your own, you’ll need to track some budgeting basics: monthly income, fixed expenses, and variable expenses. Once you know how much money is coming in and out every month, adjust from there. Decide where to cut back on spending and how much you want to put away.

4. Start Earning When You’re Young

You must start earning money at a young age, not just to have some income but because it teaches you important financial lessons. For one, if a child deposits money into a savings account, they’ll learn how their money can grow. For another, they’ll be able to make purchases from their earnings. This will show them exactly how many hours of work it takes to buy the guitar they’ve always wanted. As kids watch their money grow, it motivates them to continue working hard and pushes them to achieve financial goals. It’s good for them to have some visible, tangible way of understanding how much money they have. This helps them stay motivated and better understand finances.

5. Learn How Money Can Grow

Learning about the power of compounding interest will make you a financially successful adult. Saving is essential, but knowing how to grow your money can help you build wealth. Make it a priority to learn about investing at a young age so that you reap the benefits sooner.

Investing can be a challenging process, and mistakes can occur. A retirement account can be an excellent place to start. Your employer’s retirement plan will typically illustrate how you earn compound interest on your investments. From there, you can put together your diversified portfolio.

compare the cost of oversized ticket items, like college. It’ll be good for your wallet and a good finance exercise.

Look at all the expenses: tuition, room and board, books, and even transportation. From there, you can make an informed decision by comparing different options. If you don’t plan to attend college, you can do the same with other significant expenditures, like cars.

Managing your finances can be stressful, but the earlier you develop good habits, the better. These tips can help you get started and make dealing with finances easier.

Remember that financial literacy is about more than numbers; it means having more freedom and a higher quality of life. As you build these good habits, you can share them with your children. Then, you’ll be ensuring your financial security and theirs.