There have been very few times I’ve ever had to solve for “x” since graduating and I actually do have a calculator on me at all times. But I would have loved to learn a few applicable money lessons to help me when I entered the adult world. Here are a just a few of the money lessons that I wish I would have learned a bit sooner in life.
Annual Percentage Rate or APR didn’t really mean anything to a 16-year-old girl still in shock she was approved for her very first Victoria Secret credit card. Honestly, I don’t even want to think about what the rate was upon opening that line of credit. But I was blissfully clueless with visions of body sprays and PINK hoodies to even care about the impact that APR had on that piece of plastic I was carrying next to my high school ID. I would have loved to have a better understanding and to know what a fair rate was and how it affected me then and moving forward.
Don’t Snooze on Retirement. To be transparent, I have tripped and stumbled on this a handful of times now. I change jobs and I get a check in the mail with the minuscule amount I have accumulated through the 401K that was offered by my now former employer. This has happened a few times. I wish I would have done my research sooner to realize a Roth IRA would have been a better option for my situation.
Sinking funds could have saved me from a lot of unnecessary charges due to surprise expenses. If you’re new to the concept like I was not too long ago, sinking funds are periodically setting aside money for annual expenses, in lieu of wrecking your monthly budget. The concept is brilliant and could have kept me from the years it took to dig myself out of credit card debt and a few full-on meltdowns if something popped out of the blue.
I was completely intimidated in regards to investing. No one I knew did it, or if they did it was never discussed, so it just wasn’t something that was done or considered an option. I honestly thought it was just for super-rich people for way too long in life. Classic case of fearing the unknown.
Understanding how a credit score is determined. What I would do to have never closed one of my original credit cards to extend the length of my credit history, sigh. Knowing the different elements that contribute to your score could have helped me make wiser financial decisions with the bigger picture in mind.
What are some things you wish you would have known sooner in life or perhaps done differently? I’d love to hear!
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