How to improve your life NOW for a brighter future: 15 tips
by Julie Tassone
Are you in your twenties and wondering how to improve your life now so that the future is brighter?
One of the characteristics of the Y-generation and people born this millennium is that they like to ponder the future. The trouble is, good, honest guidance about this future can be in short supply.
Being in your twenties should mainly be fun: you feel grown up, study is finished, you get a steady job, have a regular income, and you are free to spend like there is no tomorrow! Right?
Well yes…but many youngsters are aware that, while 60 may seem a long way off now, it will come around quicker than they expect.
Follow some simple financial guidance for how to improve your life now and you can still do the things that twenty-somethings do, but with the confidence that you are also working towards a better life in the future.
How to create a brighter future: 15 ways
1. Make some specific goals – short and long-term (e.g. travel, buying a car, buying a home) and commit to a savings plan.
2. Avoid high-interest debt – why do you need a credit card? Is it because everyone else has one? Weigh it up and, if you still think you need one, pay it off every month. Start now and you will get into a great habit for later life.
3. Don’t be pressured by friends to buy things that you can’t afford – a survey shows that almost 80 percent of millennials are influenced by their friends’ spending habits.
4. Think twice about “bargains” – it’s only a bargain if you actually need it! Marketing is designed to make us impulse buy “in case we miss out”. If you need it, then make sure it really is the best deal!
5. Set a budget – it may seem tedious but this is a tangible way to keep track of your income and expenses; once set up, you know how much you really have.
6. Get an expenditure-tracking app – we live in the age of apps so why not use one to keep an eye on your cash flow!
7. Learn the basics of financial jargon – if you are financially literate, then it all starts to make sense.
8. Invest in yourself – educate and train for your future with “good debt” but utilising HECS-HELP. It is cheap debt and is repaid from your salary, so you hardly notice it.
9. Ditch the car? Do you really need it? The cost of the car combined with running costs may surprise you. If you have access to good public transport and could supplement with taxis or ridesharing services, you can make a good saving.
10. Sort out superannuation –it is compulsory but is often treated a little like ‘out of sight – out of mind’. Make sure you are in a high-growth profile while you can take the risk and make sure you only have one fund. If you change jobs, continue with the same fund.
11. Get a foothold in the property market – home ownership is part of a comfortable retirement. Early on, you may need to lower your sights on property type and location just to get a foot in the door.
12. Negotiate to stay at home longer! Sometimes giving up the freedom of living on your own means that you can save quicker for the deposit for your first property purchase.
13. Use the power of relationships– understand your financial plan and be sure you partner with someone who is like-minded. Become a team!
14. Choose automatic savings plans – these ensure that the money goes directly into savings and may attract a bonus interest rate. Steer clear of payments by direct debit and review frequently to make sure that you are not paying for subscriptions you don’t actually use.
15. Stay healthy – physically, mentally and financially. Surround yourself with like-minded people and you will be mindful of your money and your health – so you can continue to have a good time!
‘How to improve your life’ tips can be tough to follow. But the above are all possible right away and achievable with a few relatively small life adjustments.
Think about creating a better life and a brighter future – starting now.