Why do you want to save money? Why do you want to get out of debt? Why is investing important to you?
When I decided to learn more about using money wisely, I tried reading a lot of articles on how to be financially secure, yet most of that information never stuck with me. A lot of the articles I read were entertaining but didn't teach me anything new, while others were full of boring, redundant advice.
However, a few articles sparked an 'ah-ha' moment for me, they didn't just teach me "good" financial tips but also changed how I thought about money.
1. "Financial Freedom Requires Cash Flow" by The Rental Mindset
If you could imagine a life in which you're financially independent, how do you imagine reaching that goal? Working hard and climbing the corporate ladder to go from secretary to CEO? Launching a million-dollar startup? Bottling oxygen to sell in Northern China? Whichever way you've imagined, the odds of achieving financial freedom by doing just one thing are slim.
This article helped me realize that we won't all become CEOs, but having multiple sources of income will help get you to financial independence (or at the very least, a healthier bank account) faster than having just one source of income. Your goal should be to have more than one source of income, whether that's a side-hustle such as a freelance project, or the dividends you earn on your investments, in addition to your regular job.
Full Article: Financial Freedom Requires Cash Flow
2. "Twenty Things to Know About Money in Your Twenties" by Bridget Casey
The most powerful thing on this list is right at the top: Travel Spending Doesn't have the ROI You Think It Does. Most millennials have fallen into the habit of thinking that traveling to new places will somehow give us the right mindset to face the world. Yet, often after spending thousands of dollars on exotic trips, we come back no different than when we left. We're the exact same people, just with a bunch of cool pictures and souvenirs. Bridget points out that "many, many people will get to backpack Europe or walk the Great Wall of China, but very few will start their own company. Invest in the right adventure for yourself, ignore what everyone else is doing."
This article freed me from thinking that my twenties would be incomplete if I didn't take the opportunity to travel across the world. The right adventure for me, and possibly for you, might be slightly harder than buying a plane ticket to go "find" ourselves in Bali, but it'll probably end up having greater rewards.
Full Article: Twenty Things to Know About Money in Your Twenties
3. "The Incredible Power of the 1% Margin for Improvement" by Paula Pant
This article reminded me that every huge goal is made up of small steps, and pointed out the raw potential in striving to improve by a little bit every day. Instead of making a vague plan to pay down $1,000 of your student loans in twelve months, plan to pay off $80 this month, then $85 next month, $90 the month after, slowly increasing that number until you're paying off as much as you possibly can, in small manageable chunks.
According to Paula, you can have everything you want, just not all at once, so make incremental progress a regular habit.
Full Article: The Incredible Power of the 1% Margin for Improvement
4. "If You Have Savings In Your 20s, You're Doing Something Wrong" by Lauren Martin
If You Have Savings In Your 20s, You're Doing Something Wrong by Lauren Martin
While the advice in this article should be ignored, deleted, and canceled, the author's underlying attitude towards money is exactly like mine and every other millennial's—we all want to never have to worry about money. Lauren asks, "When did our 20s start to feel like our 40s? When did we get weighed down with the same pressure and stresses as a woman with four kids and a second mortgage?"
Yet, the difference between all of us lies in what we do with this desire to not have to worry about money. Do we just ignore it like this article suggests, or do we tackle that anxiety now by developing good financial habits?
5. "The Shortness of Life" by Maria Popova
This article made me aware of how much time we waste just waiting for the right time, instead of just doing whatever it is we want to do. Maria borrows liberally from Seneca who says: "It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it."
While we can—and probably, will—always make more money, we can never make up for lost time. The fact is that people die everyday and there's nothing guaranteeing us that we'll live beyond today. We, quite literally, only have today so we can't pretend that we'll always have time to create and try out the things we want.
Figure out what's important to you, financially and in other areas of your life, and do it now.
Full Article: The Shortness of Life by Maria Popova
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