Financial and career advice I learned in my 20s

Source: Social Squares

Although I look younger than 23, my driver’s license tells a slightly different story. With the big 3-0 coming up in the near future, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting on everything I’ve learned so far. Some lessons were hard to overcome (mixing juice with flavored rum? Never again) and some came a bit more slowly with years of accumulated wisdom (using retinol and daily sunscreen? Non-negotiable!).

Of all the areas I’ve learned in my twenties, career and finance skills take the cake. After choosing a career path that is different from everyone in my family and teaching myself about money management, I can assure you that I tried a lot and did a lot. The good news is that through all that trial and error, I slowly figured out what worked and what didn’t. So without further ado, here are the top 30 pieces of financial and career advice I learned along the way, and good body-sized takeaways in no particular way.

The best financial and career advice I’ve learned in my 20s

  1. Create a budget and review it regularly. It seems basic, but budgets are like house plants because they need constant care to survive and thrive.
  2. Make sure your finances are in good standing before setting up automatic withdrawals for things like savings and payments. Auto is great, but there’s nothing worse than an insufficient balance from your bank for an auto-deductible you forgot.
  3. If you are someone who loves to treat others, make sure you are not the one who always buys drinks or picks up the tab because it adds up quickly. application.
  4. There are many dupes for high quality items that are good for your wallet. Give them a shot before they’re gone for a real deal (you might like that dupe too!)
  5. Combine everything, especially your salary. Even an extra two or three thousand dollars provides a park over time and helps set you up for more money down the road.
  6. Never burn a bridge in your work if you can help it, no matter how toxic the environment. You never know who will pop up on the street, so always keep it professional.
  7. Take the time to develop your company’s connections regularly by letting them know when you are thinking of them or by offering help if you are asked. Don’t just be there when you need something.
  8. In that case, be kind to people who ask to pick your brain. It only takes a few minutes to send a quick response or set up a coffee chat (tip): if you get a lot of people reaching out, create a canned response to the usual questions and schedule a call Time to work for you, like. while walking your dog or doing laundry!).
  9. Ask yourself if there is a free or discounted version you can use before you buy. You will be surprised how many companies offer 20% off coupons if you leave your car for a few hours before checking out (Honey and Rakuten is also very good!).
  10. Don’t base your self-worth on your salary, the amount of money in your bank account, or any possessions. It sounds crazy, but these things can change at any time and you don’t want your personal values ​​to change.
  11. Set boundaries at work early in the morning and tell people about them. If you take lunch with your family seriously or exercise at lunch every day, make that part of your “sign” in the office so that time is protected automatically.
  12. Take your time off. Life is too short to leave your PTO unused (RIP to the time I could have taken a vacation instead of being at my desk early in my career).
  13. There is a time to run, and a time to rest. Learning when it makes sense to put in extra hours (like promotion) and when it doesn’t (every Tuesday) will help you create a better balance in your life.
  14. When in doubt, always dress better than you think you need for work.
  15. Take some time to slow down and consider what you want in your career. It’s okay if you don’t always know, but it’s important to consider what really makes you happy.
  16. Be aware of what you’re spending money on and make sure you’re properly prepared for it. Never feel guilty for buying flowers instead of a daily latte if that’s more your jam.
  17. Find a budgeting plan that really works for you. If you live in a city where your essential expenses are more than 50% (per the 50-30-20 budget formula), don’t try to make the system work and feel defeated and give up after a few months. after. There are many different budgeting methods and one will work for you!
  18. Set financial goals that are fun for you and create a tangible way to follow them to keep you motivated. This can be an old-school pen-and-pencil tracker (the kind where you color in a new section every time you approach, à la middle school fundraising) or name your account (my “dream Chanel bag” account is slowly gaining. There!)
  19. Don’t stop investing. It sounds scary, but once you start, you’ll find that it takes a little longer, and then you’ll think about it more. Just do it!
  20. Know when to ask for help. Whether it’s filing your taxes, finding a career path you love, or even getting your boss to explain something you’ve never done before, asking for help is a sign of maturity. Pretending you know what you’re doing when you’re not is just a waste of time.
  21. Get in the habit of talking about money in your relationship as soon as possible. Having convos about what your SO or friends can afford will ensure that no one is put in a position to spend more than they can.
  22. Always check the bill before paying to make sure it’s correct. It is a common crime to pay for a third glass of wine that you have never tasted.
  23. Find a mentor that you really connect with, that is good in the same industry as you but not in the same industry. You’ll be able to get their honest and unbiased opinion whenever you need it!
  24. Consult your colleagues whenever possible before accepting a job. It is better to find out that the workplace is not safe before entering than to experience it yourself.
  25. Take the time to actually read the contract you’re signing, whether it’s for a new job or a new lease, to make sure everything checks out. Get help with this (see 20 tips!) if you need it.
  26. Use all your employment benefits if you have them. Not just the ones that go like a massage or dental treatment, but also the ones that might not be obvious, like seeing a podiatrist (basically a free pedicure!)
  27. At the end of each quarter, carefully review your calendar and bank statement. Identify anything that isn’t a good use of time or money and cut back on those things going forward.
  28. Take the time to compare financial tools and find the ones that will work for you. That credit card your BFF loves for her cashback purchases might not be a good fit for you if free airfare is a top priority.
  29. It’s okay if you have debt, it doesn’t make you a bad person or a person with no financial responsibility. Whether it’s student loans or a consumer credit score, coming up with a plan will help you feel in control.
  30. No one has figured out everything by the age of 30, in money or work or anything else. If you feel like you do, feel that feeling while it lasts because things are always changing! Being flexible and pivoting where it’s needed are underrated skills that will always get you far in life.

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