“What my 30-something self would tell my 20-something self”
It’s all-glamorous when you finally start to have your own income at the age of 20-something. Myself-towards the end of my twenties. Then- life was all about doing hip things and hanging out with the cool crowd. Your friends mostly hang with you after work. Catching up with school/uni/college buddies and comparing notes on love or work life.
I know-been there.
The slip I see my friends fall into is finance. Suddenly having your own income can lead to more harm than good. You have waited so long to be financially independent. So this is what I would advise-
Yeah-so splurge a little on hip restaurants and trying out exotic food (especially if you’re a foodie like me!) but have budget. A budget doesn’t really have to be something you would do on excel (I am getting old- so yes I use excel for my accounting, especially now since I’m not working, this in another entry). What I mean is have a limited. So when you get your salary/pay check decide how much you are allowed to spend that month and keep to it. I remember a friend once told me that he would buy something really expensive with his first salary- I think it was a watch. I thought that was really cool. he has it till now- what did I buy with my first salary? Probably a facial or a haircut (sooooo un-cool). If I could get my first salary again- I would buy a designer handbag and wear proudly until this day. (okay, so maybe the first 3-5 months salary)
Put a side a little for your own place. A little goes a long way. Target so save money to buy your own house/apartment. Be one of those people that by late twenties/early thirties are paying for your own home instead of rent. It’s way more impressive. Start saving, especially if you still live with your parents. you can save so much money.
If you’re like younger me; I would just put aside in percentage (although I started late), so around 40% for my own place, 20%- car, then I have no idea what I did with the other 40% (since I lived with my parents and work life was TERRIBLE-exhaustion and I had no idea what day it was sometimes). Three important things: roughly 4% went to life insurance (Takaful), and another 4% rainy day savings (I invested in an Islamic Unit Trust-probably explain in another entry). The other 4% is for charity. Remember, someone is way worse of than you.
If you’re less than 20 and reading this, boy you’re lucky. If you have some scholarship/tuisyen/ pocket money left over. Save some for your own property, if not start paying the minimal you can for an Islamic unit trust.
Hope that helps.Have fun, but spend wisely.
Canary Wharf, London