Smart Moves That Will Improve Your Financial Well-Being
When we are growing up, we have lots of time for play and very few responsibilities. Yes, there are long hours in school and homework to do, but most of the time is our own. In summer and over the holidays, we have lots of free time and can get together for fun and adventures with friends. Even when we have chores to do, they don’t take up much of our day. Once we graduate from high school or college and enter the world of early adulthood, though, everything changes.
Instead of being provided for, we have to face a world where we need to find our own housing, buy our own food and pay for all of the monthly expenses. Our care-free days are now behind us and instead of summers full of fun and play we are now looking at working for the next 45 years. To set yourself on the right financial path in life, it’s important to make smart decisions right out of the gate.
The Importance of Getting Your College Degree
One of the most important things you can do for your financial future is to get your college degree. Although it might be tempting to just get an entry level position right out of high school, you should look carefully at the difference in lifetime earnings between high school and college graduates. Over the course of their work years, the average individual with a four-year university degree could make between $630,000 to $900,000 more than their high school diploma counterpart.
The huge difference in lifetime wages could mean the difference between success and a life of struggling to get by. While a four-year degree can be costly, it pays off big time in the end. You can finance your education by taking out student loans from private lenders like banks, credit unions or financial companies. By using an online student loan calculator, you’ll even be able to estimate how much you’ll pay after graduation on your loans.
Ditch the Destination Wedding
Destination weddings are incredibly popular these days. Instead of a church wedding many young adults opt for an over-the-top wedding in the perfect setting or place. Social media has helped fuel the rise in increasingly expensive, outlandish nuptials. The average base cost for one of these weddings is $35,000 and they often go up in price from there. If you’d like to set your financial course for the future, opt for a smaller, local wedding.
Then you can take all the money that you would have spent on your destination event and use it to for a down payment on a house. Rather than a gift registry, you can also request that your guests help with small contributions to your house fund. Then, instead of starting life with huge wedding bills to pay, you’ll begin your life together in your own home and will watch it appreciate in value over the years.
Get a Side Hustle
One of the worst things that can happen financially is to find out that you’ve run up lots of credit card debt. It’s so easy to pull out plastic to pay for things you’d love to have without remembering that you’ll soon be suffering under a mountain of high monthly payments if you do. A good alternative to mindless spending is to get a side hustle to pay for the special items you want. By working a little bit extra each week on your second gig, you’ll be able to put aside money into a special fund. Then, when you want to purchase a big-ticket item, you can pay cash and avoid the usurious interest rates that are typically charged on credit card debt.
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