As a young medic, your 20s is a definitive decade that defines the trajectory of your life. It is during this period that you carve out your career path, locate a life partner, and lay a steady foundation for the rest of your life. Laying a stalwart foundation is especially true when it narrows down to your personal finances.
Your 20s offer you plenty of time to recover from mistakes relating to money. It is crucial to remember that a single trip won’t affect you forever. Nonetheless, if you pay attention to preparing and watch out for the mistakes, you can position yourself for success in the long run.
Your 20s offer you time to learn, grow and fully appreciate the role of money in your life. These common money mistakes are about what you should and shouldn’t do. May this information be of benefit to you even as you read.
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1. Ignoring Your Helb Loan
If you are a beneficiary of higher education loan, make as big a dent as possible on your student loan before other expenses start queuing at your door. If you let it footle, the balance will accrue over time and may end up seeming insurmountable.
In your 20s, you are presumably making money, but aren’t feeling the burden of other costs that come with adult life. This is a perfect time to start chipping away that student loan. Your future version will thank you later.
2. Not Creating a ‘Rainy Day Fund’
‘Rainy days’ are those days that wreak havoc on your financial stability by presenting emergency situations that call for your financial attention.
These are expenses that can comfortably be covered with money from the rainy day fund or emergency savings. When you do not have a safety net, these setbacks can force you to borrow money, which gets expensive and can injure your credit score.
Begin by setting aside a little money every month. This could be an amount that won’t have a major impact on your life. Setting aside even KSh. 1000 per month can make a big difference over time. Set aside this money in your rainy-day kitty, and if possible, keep increasing the amount you are saving after a few months.
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3. Poor or Totally Not Investing
In your 20s, investing may seem like an unnecessary expense. You may question the logic of risking your money on something today that can’t help you until far into your future. Nonetheless, as long as it is done responsibly, your 20s is a good time to start investing.
Throwing your cash at the first opportunity that comes your way is not responsible investing. Smart investing is defined by thoughtful calculations and analysis of your income, current situation, long-term goals, and comfort levels when it comes to risk.
Have a sit-down with a parent or a trusted adviser and figure out what works best for you. A smart investment decision now, however small the amount is, could have a large impact on your future.
4. Living Above Your Means
No number of Instagram and Facebook likes is worth being financially unstable. It is OK to pass on that road trip/holiday if you can’t afford it.
Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) spending is real. Many people who are in their 20s spend money they do not have to keep up with their friends.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are unsure if you can afford something, countercheck with your budget. If you do not have a budget in place, create one. Develop the habit of tracking your finances and calculating how much ‘fun money you can afford to spend every month.
No amount of FOMO is worth the anxiety of not knowing how to pay off your debts.
Your 20s are a time to learn, grow and find yourself. Do not let fear of making mistakes get along your way of personal development. One mistake may likely not hurt you forever.