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Starting on the right financial path can make a big difference in the long run. Navigating the path to success can be daunting for an 18-year-old who doesn’t have any experience on handling money matters.
To help guide young adults in the right direction, recently, individuals with financial experience have shared their top tips for establishing a solid financial foundation.
#1. 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.
#2. 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.
#3. 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.
#4. 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.
#5. 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.
#6. 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.
#7. 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.
#8. 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.
#9. 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.
#10. 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.
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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.