In between paying their bills and looking for steady employment, millennials have enough on their plates without having to worry about their financial future. Unfortunately, the decisions you make in your 20s can have long-term effects on your finances for the rest of your life.
Your dreams are going to evolve, to that first house, a big vacation and retiring off into the sunset. The only way you can make those dreams come true is to build up your wealth as soon as possible.
Here are 5 major steps a millennial can take to get off to a great start and substantially increase his/her chances of acquiring wealth in the future.
1. MAKE A FINANCIAL PLAN
What is your target salary? How much money do you want to have in the bank by age 40? When do you plan to retire? These are important questions to ask yourself if you want to build wealth and increase your net worth. The answers to these questions are called your Goals.
If you’re not sure what the answers to the above questions are yet, don’t fret. Nobody has it all figured out in their 20s, and your goals are likely to change over time. But you’ll NEVER achieve your financial goals by winging it. How can you take a road trip without a map?
So, set some goals and make a timeline.
2. CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS CAREFULLY
Ever been pressured by a friend to buy an outfit way out of your budget because it’ll be just perfect for the upcoming girls’ night out?
Ever been invited to an expensive birthday dinner and had to split the bill equally (even though you drank water and didn’t even try up to half the menu at the buffet)?
If your peers are influencing you to spend more than you can afford, your friendships are undermining your efforts to build wealth. Learn to say no, and accept that if your social circle doesn’t understand your long-term goals of attaining financial security and building wealth, it’s time to find new friends.
3. COMMIT TO A CAREER PATH
Doing some soul-searching and trying out different gigs might be fun, but too much of it is not good for your bank account.
The truth is, around of a person’s lifetime wage growth occurs in their first 10 years in the workforce, and most people’s salaries plateau around their 40s. That means that the later you start your career, the less time you have to hit a very healthy salary range.
While it’s important that you don’t settle for a career that makes you miserable, you should also make it your top priority to find your professional niche. Find your professional groove early on and you can spend the rest of your career climbing the ranks, gaining valuable experience, and earning more as a result.
4. PICK A BETTER CAREER OPTION
Amanda Augustine, a career advice expert for TopResume, says “once you’ve graduated from University and are past those first few jobs, it’s time to consider your longer-term goals. Use those first experiences to help you uncover what you really want to work on in the future. In many cases, this may require a major career shift.”
Making a major career shift may require extra schooling, certification, or new skills, but with some effort, you can be on a more lucrative career path. It’s never a bad thing to invest in learning, and it’s much easier to switch careers in your 20s than later in life.
5. FIND THE RIGHT ROMANTIC PARTNER
Just like your friendships can impact your long-term financial goals, so do your choices in romantic partners. An international study has also shown that arguing about money is one of the top predictors of divorce, regardless of the couple’s income or net worth. Before you take the plunge and say “I do,” make sure you’ve been fully transparent with each other about your financial situations, and that your views toward money align. Your financial success may depend on it.
Author: Olanrenwaju Atiba