Youth is a very intoxicating time – beautiful, dangerous, and all too short. Most young people tend to believe that one should live for today and let tomorrow take care of itself.
This is a good principle, if you don't plan to live very long! However, if you wish to live until a ripe old age and wish to be financially self-reliant and carefree, you need to take some important steps even as early as your twenties.
1. Invest in yourself – it's great fun to go to parties over the weekend, or to throw some yourself. However, it's wiser if you use some of this free time you get over the weekend to earn an additional degree or complete a diploma or certification course in the profession you chose for yourself, or in allied fields.
The more qualified you are, the higher the price-tag you will command when you apply for a job. Education and experience are the two vital components that demand a high salary.
2. Negotiate – learn to negotiate for a better price, better terms and conditions for your loan, higher salary, better perks, a better discount, and so on. Young people usually take pride in the fact that they can afford to pay a higher price than is required. Do not be counted among this group!
There is no pride in parting with your hard-earned money when the same stuff can be bought for less. This is rather foolish. Perfecting negotiating skills takes a lot of time, and it would be a good idea to start as early as you can.
3. Drink plenty of water – this is definitely better than beer, coffee, tea, soda and a few other similar beverages. Besides, it costs nothing. Make it a habit to carry water with you wherever you go, and when you develop an urge to drink any of the above, have about 5-10 sips of water and you will be surprised at how fast the craving disappears.
4. Do your work as much as possible – share household chores among the family members and do away with the cleaning personnel, lawn mowers, and so on. You will save a small fortune by the end of the month if you just plan and have your laundry washed and ironed at home instead of sending it to the cleaners.
5. Cook food – fast food, party dinners, sandwiches on-the-go are okay once in a while. However, in order to stay healthy both in body and mind, you need to eat home-cooked food.
Forget about microwavable pre-cooked and processed food, and change to home cooked dinners (at the very least). Not only you will save a tidy sum on food bills, but you will also avoid excessive weight gain and other health problems.
The habit of saving is one of your greatest allies; one that needs to be nurtured carefully as early in life as possible. If you instill this habit in your character, there is very little that can affect you negatively in regard to your finances.