Today I have a bit of a different post for you all. Not too long ago, I was contacted to see if I’d like to talk about my adulthood goals, including my personal finance plans. Being that I’m an economics student, it sounded like a wonderful idea, so I accepted. And now I’m going to share my personal adulthood checklist with you.
Don’t worry, though. This post is not sponsored/paid (no one would ever do that for me lol). It’s also not just ramblings on how to maintain your personal finances, for, although I study econ, I’m not necessarily a personal finance expert. Plus a post like that would be absolutely boring. So instead, there are other “fun” goals sprinkled into my checklist, too. Hopefully, that spices things up.
Now let’s get started.
My Adulthood Checklist
1. START SAVING
I put this one first on my list because it’s ridiculously important to save some of the money that you earn.
I’ve been saving money from each paycheck since I started working a couple of years ago. (I’m only 19, by the way, so that’s not as short as it sounds.) I don’t make a lot, but I still put away at least $50 every two weeks, depending on how much I was actually paid. It’s a good habit to keep, and the money that gets put away eventually adds up.
The reason I keep a savings account is to have some extra money for emergency or extra expenditures. For example, because I get a max of $300 every two weeks, if I accidentally crash my car, I’m not going to have enough in my checking account to pay for it. So instead, I hit up my savings, and my butt is, well, saved.
Same thing for fun, extra stuff. Say I want to surprise drop $500 on concert tickets I just so happened to see an ad for. I can do that without worry thanks to my savings account.
2. Get my dream home
It’s probably a bit early to think about this, but I still eventually want to get my dream home.
When I’m young, that home will be a simple apartment in some city somewhere — hopefully a nice apartment that will be big enough to start a family.
Later on in life, though, I want a house with lots of room for my family to grow and roam. That means lots of land and definitely a big, wrap-around porch. I don’t know where in the world we’ll be, but I do know that a hefty savings account will certainly be needed.
I’m talking stocks, yo.
The best advice I ever received was to start investing in stocks as soon as I graduated from high school. Why? Because it starts building both credit and net worth, and it also gives some great finance management experience.
Well, I still haven’t gotten around to investing, but I know for a fact that the above is true. The sooner you can invest, the better. So do it asap.
I will tell you, though, that investing is scary and definitely requires a lot of advanced research. You can consult a financial planner if you don’t want to go it on your own, but I’m sure there’s enough free stuff on Google to get you started in the investment world.
4. Road trip/travel the world
This should be on everyone’s checklist. Not only is it cool to get out and see beautiful places, but it’s also amazing to meet new people and learn new languages and cultures. Seeing the world will give you memories and lessons that can’t be had any other way, which is why I want to travel so much when I’m out of college. And you should, too.
If you can’t go super far, though, don’t worry. There’s always the option of road tripping, which would probably actually allow you to see more than just picking a city or town and staying there for X amount of days.
(PS, this is another reason to keep your savings account fully loaded.)
5. Get a credit card (asap)
If you don’t already have one (like me), then get one. Debit cards and cash will do nothing to build your financial credibility, no matter how much money you have to your name. Unless you purchase things with credit and reliably pay the money they cost back, you will have a bad credit score and will not be able to get the home, car, loan, etc. that you want. The bank (as well as the seller) will think you’re unreliable and will deny you. So get that credit card. It’ll be worth it in the end.
6. Work at Epcot
This is obviously a very personal goal. I want to work at Epcot one day, preferably in the World Showcase. So I’m gonna work at Epcot one day, hopefully in the World Showcase (where I’ll meet my hot, foreign husband 😉 ).
7. Plan for retirement
According to Personal Capital, a finance management company, approximately 40 percent of millennials don’t have any retirement plans. Cause why would we? Retirement is, like, 40, 50 years away.
Well, in those 40-50 years, we should be saving and investing in order to have a decent chunk of change to live off when we finally stop working for good. I mean, let’s face it: Social security is not going to be our generation’s friend, and with the cost of living always rising, who knows how well-to-do we will be at the end of the next five decades.
So start planning now. Even if it’s just setting $20 aside every pay for retirement, think of how much that will be at the end of 50 years.
Here’s a link to Personal Capital’s neat retirement planner in case you want to get started with your fund right away.
8. Live abroad
For the same reasons as traveling the world, everyone should live abroad for some amount of time. I want to spend a few years abroad, just traveling and living in a bunch of different places. I definitely want to stay in both Europe and Asia, so hopefully I will be able to make that happen. I’ll just need a good job and lots of patience, cause government paperwork takes forever.
I keep talking about how important it is to save your money, but it’s just as important to spend it. I know I never put away more than half a pay check into savings, because I want to make sure I spend enough of the money that I make.
It’s very important to spend what you earn for a few reasons. One is to build credit, so make sure you’re spending with your credit card. Also make sure you don’t spend more than you’ll have at the end of the month when your credit card statement comes and it’s time to pay it all back.
The second reason is to keep the economy booming and moving on up. Money can’t be made unless it is spent, so don’t be greedy and screw everything up for everyone else by not spending a dime. You earn money to spend money, so let it serve its purpose.
The last reason to keep spending is to keep you monetarily sane (a term that I just made up, yes). If you keep saving and saving and saving, eventually,savs you’ll be terrified to ever spend, even if it’s on something you really need. So your best bet is to buy what you want, just in moderation. Money technically doesn’t even exist, anyway, so why worry about keeping it all to yourself?
One day, I am going to have a Fiat. Why? Because they’re small and cute and adorable, and I just want one. So once I have my first big girl job and my current car Debbie kicks the bucket, I’m getting myself a Fiat. #swag
11. Pay off student loans
Finally, one of my biggest goals is to pay off my student loans by the time I’m 30. I won’t have a huge amount of debt thanks to scholarships and working a gazillion jobs, but I will have some. And I don’t want to be carrying it around for the rest of my life, for that will just weigh my credit down even more. So I’m gonna get those loans paid off asap, another reason I try to keep my savings account in pristine condition.
And that is all. I hope you found this fascinating, but if not, then sorry you’re not a money geek like me. Talk to you all again soon.