by Christi V.R.
In your 20s, your worries tend to revolve around your wardrobe, social life, and never-ending busy calendar. Most decisions are made with the present in mind, and the thought about “future” doesn’t encompass more than five years from now. The last thing you want to discuss over a glass of wine with your girlfriends is money. It’s already a sensitive topic at other phases in life and considering we think we’re invincible in our 20’s, it most definitely won’t make its way to the dinner conversation if we can avoid it.
While the word ‘benefits’ sounds enticing, the potential of our 401(k) is not what drives the majority of our professional decisions. Retirement plans seem like they’ll be mainly employer-funded and not something that should be on our to-do list in the immediate future … especially not in our 20s. However, having proactive conversations related to financial topics can be extremely beneficial down the road. Providing financial tools and resources for women is pivotal in order to create a strong and stable foundation that will encourage independence and security later in life.
It’s important to outline some financial steps that can be taken now, in order to make life easier later. Ladies, whether you are an entrepreneur or not, this advice is for all of you.
You’ve heard it before, but it’s the best advice you will ever take: Pay Yourself First! If you save $100 a month starting at age 25, earning an average of 7% per year, by the time you turn 55 you will have a savings account worth approximately $121,997!
- Stick to a budget – so you can do 2, 3, 4 & 5!
- Build an emergency fund – a good rule of thumb is 3 months of income.
- Save for retirement – If you have a 401(k), contribute as much as you can. No 401(k)? Open an IRA and contribute up to the maximum amount per year. Invest the money, don’t let it sit in cash!
- Set financial goals. Do you have student loans to pay off? Do you want to take a big trip next year? Goals give you focus and reward you for a job well done!
- Don’t be afraid of the market – or to ask for help. Even if you’re new to investing there are great resources available online and beginning a relationship with an advisor will build trust and give you the confidence to move forward. And by the way, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.