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Turning 18 is exciting; you can finally vote and can no longer be treated as a minor in the eyes of the law.
With all these new-found freedoms come additional responsibilities, notably financial ones that may have been taken for granted by others for years but now require your attention.
As an adult, money matters, like budgeting and tracking expenses, saving up for retirement or emergencies, and knowing how to apply for credit are essential skills that will help you financially throughout life.
So if you’re a recently-minted adult who’s wondering where to begin when it comes to managing finances, this article is here to help!
We’ll identify critical steps every 18-year-old should take before creating long-term plans or strategies. Get ready because adulthood has just begun!
#1. Hustle Every Day: A Valuable Lesson
Another user reminded others about the age-old adage that there are no free lunches in life and highlighted the importance of daily hustling to achieve one’s goals.
They advised against spending money on things that didn’t matter and suggested putting money away instead.
The user also noted that small accumulations of money, such as 401k contributions, will have the most significant impact in the long run, as opposed to spending money on daily luxuries like Starbucks coffee.
#2. Mastering the Art of Saying “No” to Financial Pressure
One person imparted a pearl of wisdom, emphasizing the importance of mastering the art of saying “No” regarding finances.
It means staying within your budget and not overspending, whether in business dealings or social situations with friends. It’s important to prioritize your financial well-being and not let peer pressure lead you astray.
By sticking to your budget, you’ll be one step closer to achieving financial freedom.
#3. Secured Credit Cards: Establishing Credit History at 18
Someone else proposed the novel idea of obtaining a secured credit card as soon as one hits 18, which will help establish a credit history.
They explained that with a secured credit card, one gives the credit card company a certain amount of money to start their credit line, and as long as the card is paid back in full by the closing date, the money will be returned.
#4. Keep Tabs on Your Net Worth: A Financially Sound Practice
Another person chimed in with another good recommendation. They emphasized the importance of frequently keeping tabs on one’s net worth, as it offers a clear lens into financial advancement.
They recommended using a spreadsheet or financial management tool like Quicken to update all accounts, including loans, regularly.
#5. Living Within Your Means: Tips for Financially Savvy 18-Year-Olds
Another user shared that at 18, it’s important to embrace living within your means and not feel pressured to impress others with expensive things. They advised against spending all your money on alcohol or smoking and instead suggested opting for cheaper dates and thrift store clothing.
The user also emphasized the benefits of living with other responsible yet financially-conscious roommates to save money.
#6. Invest Early: The Smart Move
Another person suggested that at 18, stashing away funds for a down payment is wise. Depending on the area, this can be in the form of a condo or a small house.
Investing in a property early on can serve as a springboard for purchasing a more significant property when one is ready to settle down and start a family.
#7. Education and Financial Acuity
Another user advised that educating oneself for future income prospects and financial insight is important.
They advised 18-year-olds to take advantage of free or low-cost educational opportunities like community college or online courses.
#8. Upskilling and Exploring Different Career Trajectories for Financial Success
A knowledgeable user gave some valuable advice, urging young individuals to remain open-minded to exploring different career trajectories.
Instead of trying to spend less incrementally, it is much easier to save more by making more. It may involve investing in education, training, or certification programs to enhance their skills and make them more marketable to employers.
#9. Finding Balance: A Key to Sustainable Financial Health for 18-Year-Olds
In a moment of introspection, an individual highlighted the importance of striking a fine balance between frugality and splurging to evade the inevitable burnout.
They believe that denying oneself too much at a young age may not be sustainable in the long run. Instead, they suggest finding a balance and making smart choices that will help set oneself up for success in the future.
#10. Budgeting: The Key to Avoiding Debt at 18
One user underscored that the key to sidestepping the clutches of debt at 18 is to hone the art of budgeting.
They suggested that it is important to know exactly where all the money needs to go and where it is going.
Doing so will help individuals stay on top of their finances and avoid getting into credit card debt.
How to Move Out With No Money
Are you looking to change your situation and move but you don’t have any money?
Or worse, do you also not have a job? You might think your goal is hopeless, but it’s not. Here are the steps you need to take.
Steps To Building Wealth
We all want to have enough money that our finances are no longer a stress in our lives.
But with so much financial advice out there, building wealth seems impossible. Not any more. Here are the simple steps you need to take.
Good Money Habits To Have
In order to get ahead financially, we need to develop good habits. Most people talk about bad money habits to get rid of.
Here are good money habits you need to follow if you want to take the next step financially.
How To Save Money When You’re Broke
When you have no money, the idea of saving sounds impossible. In fact, for many people, the idea never crosses their mind because they are only focused on getting money to survive.
But there are steps you can take to actually save money even when you are broke. Doing so will help you change your financial life faster than you thought possible.
Growing up is part of life. Sadly, most schools don’t teach personal finance, so adulting when it comes to money can be complicated.
Luckily, here is a guide to adulting so you can more easily figure things out, without making major mistakes.
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I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
Visit my About Me page to learn more about me and why I am your trusted personal finance expert.