In investing, I believe that the earlier you save and invest the better. I started saving and investing in my early 20’s with the goal of being financially free as early as possible and to be able to help as much Filipinos to be free as well. That time I was still single and living with my parents so I took that opportunity to kick start my saving and investing early. My priorities were different and at the same time, I had the liberty to become more aggressive because I knew I was still young and did not have a family on my own yet to rely on me. No that I’m married, my priorities had to shift and I tapered off my aggressiveness a bit. It’s been a blessing that I had the chance to start early.
I want this be an encouragement to everyone starting out in life. I want you as young as you are to start saving and start making your money work hard for you. I want to see a new generation of multi millionaires in the their early 30s not because they we’re born rich but rather because they started early and had the perspective of investing for the long term.
In line with that, I’m pleased to present Lianna Laroya, a finance advocate in her early 20s, to share about 7 Smart Habits of Financially Successful 20-Somethings. I hope her story and her life would encourage you to reach for your dreams of financial freedom. You may now catch her here every other friday to hear her insights on saving and investing!
Catch me in my live training events! (quick plug)
The heart of why I do this seminars is I want to build a generation of Filipinos with the right foundation in stock investing. I want to bring smart investing to every Filipino around the world! If you would like to know more on how you could time the market checkout the trainings below.
As a 20-something professional, you’re likely to feel overwhelmed. You’ll realize that you have to get a paying job, after which you need to pay taxes, to get health insurance, and you also have to prepare for retirement!
(I haven’t even mentioned the fact that you’d also require a travel fund for your wanderlust, a home fund for your dream house or a car fund for your target car model.)
Wow. With all these financial obligations and financial goals that you all want to meet, it’s pretty easy for you to be weighed down. “I want to achieve them all,” you say, “But I feel like I can’t!”
Of course you can. You definitely can. It won’t be easy, believe me, but you can! You can get started by practicing these winning money habits:
1. Know why you desire to be financially free.
First, you figure out exactly why you want to attain these goals. Find your Emotional Cause. (To be effective at doing something, you’ve got to be emotionally invested in it.)
2. Believe that you can be successful financially.
You know what they say:
“Your thoughts = your words = your actions = your habits = your character = Your destiny”
Practice The Law of Attraction and wholeheartedly believe that the Lord loves to shower you with blessings.
Let me share something with you about this secret.
Last month, I kept on thanking God and the universe for giving me ten million pesos – even though I didn’t have that money yet. Every day, I would wake up, brush my teeth, drink tea, close my eyes and say, “Thank you for the ten million pesos. I’m grateful for the blessings.”
I did this for three weeks, until I got a text message from someone who told me that he’s interested in investing his money for his retirement. Do you know how much money he was willing to invest?
Ten million pesos.
Sure, he hasn’t signed anything yet. Yes, we haven’t even met personally yet. But do I think that this is a simple coincidence?
I choose to believe that it’s God giving me a patikim and telling me to keep the faith, hold on and sincerely believe that we are all destined for greatness.
3. Be thankful for all your blessings.
A helpful tip for this is that you need to show your gratitude in every step of the way. This simply means that you focus on what you have right now, not on what you do not have.
For example, if you’ve got no money to watch a movie, don’t say “I’m so broke I couldn’t even watch a movie.” Say this instead: “Thank you. I’m happy I was able to save money, pay my essential bills and even eat 3 meals a day! I’m so blessed.”
4. Just start saving. Now.
Lots of 20-somethings message me and tell me that they already know what they want and they already know how to get it, but they haven’t started yet because they can’t.
I understand. It’s difficult, especially if you’re on your own and you’ve got lots of things to be responsible for, but let’s be honest here: are you sure that you can’t save at least P100 per month?
Of course you can. There’s no shame in starting with a small amount! The most important thing is that you start today. Do this with automatic fund transfers so you won’t stress too much. Just do yourself a favour and don’t manually withdraw from your savings, okay?
I’m with Confucius on this. “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
5. Cut your cable.
You don’t even need it – especially if you’re spending most of the week outside. If you’re bored, you can watch DVDs, you can play online movies or you can read inspirational books! Cable TV will just suck your time and your energy.
Plus, it can also suck your salary as it costs around P499 a month. You know you can just save that P500, right?
6. Plan your saving, your spending and your investing.
You can’t just use your intuition when you make your budget. (Here’s a simple template for beginners.)
If you’re still starting out, a budget is important because it serves as your guide. It’s fairly easy: know how much you make, how much you save and how much you spend. Then, adjust accordingly.
7. Protection first, before fighting inflation.
If you don’t have enough emergency fund in an accessible account, don’t invest your money yet. It’s a universal concept that there is always a risk in investing.
Think about this: if you put your money in the stock market, and an emergency happens after two months, because you don’t have an emergency fund to cushion the blow, you’d have nothing to do but redeem your investment – even if it hasn’t grown yet.
You can never predict the uncertainties in life. Do you really want to risk it?
The road to being a financially successful young professional is rocky. But then again, no one told you it was easy, right? They all just said that it would be worth it.