As far as I'm concerned travel and money go hand in hand. You can't do one without the other. Unfortunately, those that have the worst reputation when it comes to finances are those who are my age. They're in their 20s and early 30s. For the most part, I'd agree with that assessment. No doubt, my generation (millennials) has had it rough. However, what generation hasn't?
Yes, it turns out a lot of millennials need a lesson on personal finance. Apparently, a generation that has a reputation for "living in their parents' basement" until they're 30 still can't save money. Hell. If I lived at my parents' house for any length of time after I graduated college and got a job, I'd probably be a millionaire today.
I bring all of this up because I ran across an article that says those in their twenties are financially stupid (my word, not theirs). There are 10 mistakes The Simple Dollar says most 20-somethings make. Here are a few that caught my eye:
Retirement savings: The biggest mistake people make in their 20s is not contributing to retirement savings right away. Trust me. I get it. I pretty much made minimum wage my first job out of college. I don't know how, but I contributed a little from each check to my 401(k). You can too (and these next steps may help you figure out how).
Frugality: Another mistake, they say most 20-somethings make is "giving up on the student life too fast." By this they mean young adults start buying prime rib for dinner instead of Ramen Noodles. Don't do that, silly! Be frugal. Be thrifty. Those words have a bad rap, but they shouldn't. Everyone should live that way. That's because the odd thing is - being frugal or thrifty allows you to buy more of the things you want.
Being car poor: Holy crap is this a big one. Don't buy a new car you can't afford. A blog I read says too many people are "car poor." Meaning, if they buy a car that costs them $400 a month, they may be able to afford that - but nothing else. Don't make this mistake. A car is supposed to get you from point "A" to point "B." If it does that, and you can't afford to get a new one, don't!
Student loans: Besides saving for retirement, I would argue paying off those loans is the second most important thing you can do. Get rid of that college debt. I make paying down my student loan a priority.
Big city living: I'm dealing with this right now. I live just outside of downtown Dallas and my apartment complex/landlord thought it would be a cool idea to raise my rent by $1,200 for my upcoming rental year! That's $100 a month for those of you keeping score. Guess what? That's cramping my style, man! If they don't negotiate, I'll be moving. And you should do the same if you find yourself in a similar situation.
Budgeting: In the simplest terms - figure out what your take home pay is, and don't spend more than that. A budget is really that simple. If you figure out that you're in the negative month after month, cut back on something!
Like the article says - you still have time to right the "wrongs." Taking care of your personal finances is important. Don't live like a $30,000 millionaire (think about it).
Can't afford something? Don't buy it! It's that simple. If you want something - save for it. Cut back on other things. The power lies with you, and only you. Good luck!