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11 Smart Money Moves to Make Now

11 Smart Money Moves to Make Now

Heather Hetterick | DivineCaroline

August 09, 2010

This week as I enter a new decade in my life, I reflected on my twenties in terms of what I did right and where I left room for improvement when it came to money management. I have a few tips for you twenty-somethings.

Live like a cheap college student as long as you can. When you graduate from college and start making a few bucks you have the urge to buy new, nicer things. Resist it. Be creative. Most of the furniture in our home office is stuff given to us that I spray painted black. Up until two years ago, our bedroom furniture was my husband’s childhood bedroom set. We got by just fine until we paid cash for a bedroom set we’ll keep forever.

Stay Out of Debt! With the exception of a home mortgage, do whatever you have to do to stay out of debt. If you can’t pay cash for it, you can’t afford it, period. One of the best money-management things we have done is becoming debt-free (except our mortgage) before we turned thirty. Unlike many Americans I sleep easier, have less stress, and a happier marriage. I’m not fighting over money, or strapped down by a payment.

Your twenties are the most important years of your retirement savings. Retirement is the last thing on your mind in your twenties, but it should be the first. At this time in your life, interest is on your side. Most people don’t get that whatever you can manage to invest while you’re in your twenties has the most time to grow. All the time I hear, “I can’t afford to save for retirement now.” Actually you can’t afford not to. Our investment adviser gave us the rule of that if you invest $27,000 toward retirement by the time your twenty-seven years old you will have a million dollars when you retire.

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