Only about one-third of working people under the age of 30 consider themselves able to handle money. The term handling refers to skills like saving, investing, and effectively spending what you have. Why do so many grown people feel they just don’t have a grasp on this essential part of daily life? The general lack of financial skills might be related to the fact that so few schools teach personal finance anymore. The reasons aren’t important, actually, but the result is. So, what can you do if you’re part of that two-thirds? Here’s a short summary of key facts every working person should understand about handling, making, spending, saving and investing capital.
How to Save
One of the easiest ways to save is to designate a fixed percentage of every paycheck for a special account. You can even ask your employer to place a percentage of all checks directly into your savings account. Start with a smaller number, like 3 percent, until you get used to the fact that at least some of your pay will not be available for immediate use. Don’t touch the account for at least one year and consider upping the percentage every six months or so until you’re routinely putting away 10 percent of each paycheck.
How to Pay for Education
Paying for college by taking out student loans is a wise strategy. Not only are education loans easy to get, they also come with rather low interest rates. Every year, more than 25 million college-bound students borrow money to finance their education. As far as investments go, this is one of the best ones in the bang for your buck department.
How to Avoid Money Pitfalls
Avoid some of the most common financial pitfalls, including overuse of credit cards, buying an expensive car that you really don’t need, taking pricey trips that strain your budget, not having a budget and not making saving a habit. Too many young adults fall into these traps and never get out. The best time, according to experts, to form good habits around money is during your late teens and early twenties. Never be reluctant to sit down and make a monthly budget, even if you only earn a small amount of money. Avoiding typical financial mistakes will serve you well in the long-run.
How to Invest
Even if you only have $50 extra each month, consider starting a regular investment fund. Many online brokers charge very low fees and let you set up a fractional shares account. For example, if you want to put $25 into XYZ stock but the share price is $400, you can buy a fraction of a share with any amount of money. Learn the basics of investing while you’re young and you’ll be better able to handle retirement and long-term savings accounts later on. Another way to invest is to begin a precious metals account consisting of gold or silver bullion. Each month, place $50 or more into the account and you’ll eventually build up a nice amount of bullion as an investment.