If many of us got a preview of what 10 years in the future looked like we would surely approach our present very different.
I try not to live with regrets but whenever I am sitting in any form of public transportation I usually get a bit melancholy about some of the silly financial mistakes I made & great advice I did not take in my 20’s. But instead of wallowing in said sorrow I decided to share the lessons I wish I heeded in hopes that it will help a 20 something year old or even thirty something year old get on the path to financial stability.
1. Save 10% of everything you earn not matter how small the income.
As we like to say here in Jamaica every “mickle mek a muckle” or “one one coco full basket.” No matter how small your income…save some of it (10% is a good start). In my 20’s, I did not save the way I should have. I constantly justified this malpractice by stressing how “small” my salary was at the time. I now know that saving involves a lot of patience but one day it does pay off.
2. Partners are not so bad & can help you achieve long term goals
In doing my research for this post, I discovered that partners exist outside Jamaica but have different names. The concept involves putting aside a said amount weekly or monthly and each period a partner receives a lump sum called a draw.
“A popular form of savings system in Jamaica is the “Partner”, which is called by many different names elsewhere in the Caribbean and is also found in many other parts of the world… A Partner is basically a partnership among people to save collectively. Usually an established member of a community manages the partnership and is referred to as “the banker”. The partners contribute a regular sum daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. Every day, week, fortnight or month, one member of the partner receives the total amount contributed by the partners over that period., less the equivalent of one contribution, which is given to the banker as payment for the banker’s services.
The drawback with the partner is the trust factor (many a scary stories). So I would advise that one enters such agreement with someone who has been proven trustworthy. If the traditional partner structure is not for you, most credit unions actually offer partners which are monitored & regulated by the financial monitoring authorities.
3. Pay your bills in full (or over if you can afford to) & on time
You rob yourself every time you pay a late fee…Enough said!
4. Invest! Invest! Invest!
You are not too young to invest. Speak to a trusted financial adviser and make your money work for you in your 20’s.
5. Credit Responsibly
Most of us shop online or have a Netflix account which may require us to have a credit cards. Credit cards, in my opinion, are luxury items so as with all luxury items it ain’t cheap & should be handled with care. Luckily here is Jamaica there are two banks I know that offer Visa debit cards (something I wish was offered in my early 20s) which will help you to spend responsibly.