Frankly, I can’t recommend very much – I would make a terrible tour guide and an awful travel agent. Hopefully, I’ll never have to embark on either occupation. Of course, I’ve openly said that I don’t go out often and my motivation to research is seriously lacking. So besides the occasional Swiffer product and Simpson’s episode – I haven’t got a lot to go on. However, from this small dwelling there is a strong recommendation for preparation – I’m not referring to the end of the world although we can see it from here. No, I mean that nothing is guaranteed right now, not really. Certainly, nothing lasts forever. We’re running out of resources; we’re damaging our planet; we’re an oversized (and fat) population increasing way too rapidly; we’re taking the rights away from mankind; we’re bombing the shit out of our fellow man and calling it a war for peace; we’re destroying the minds of our youth who are our future and; we’re flat broke in the process. We’ve basically rushed to front-line of failure. The collective whole may improve and stay situated at an appreciated level, or it may plummet. Individually we can prepare for either circumstance and for almost any outcome.
One word: Security. In no regards to the invasive security even inland airports feel the need to enforce; but in regards to job security, housing security, education security, finance security, automobile security, you know life security. I really don’t think there is a lot of it. Perhaps you are the extra fortunate person who doesn’t have to worry. Whether it is thanks to an inheritance, a paid-off mortgage, or even a good job; there are still reasons to be weary and reasons to prepare. Because in reality you don’t know what could happen. Your debt could become overwhelming – it’s easy to spend, harder to spend on debt – and you might have to dip into your savings, can you? There are a lot of idiots on the road, someone could hit you – hospital bills could be huge, will ICBC replace your car or will you have to, how was your insurance, collision? How about more commonly, you have a through-your-eyeballs mortgage and a job that even with its double digit wage leaves you with only a quarter of itself after taxes and bills. Disposable income is not an easy thing to come by and there’s a lot of budgeting involved to be frivolous. Do the things today, that your future self will thank you for.
With nothing but some more bills guaranteed in our futures, you’re never too young to start thinking about this. Unless you’re that idiot counting on the end of the world (which may not be but we can see it from here) or planning to never live past 21, you have to occupy this time on earth successfully until one day when you don’t. There happens to be a lot of uselessness in world, from Hello Kitty to Twitter. But it’s important to know when being so useless and irrelevant is damaging your financial standing. Primarily Hello Kitty over Twitter. Emotions can play a big part in the purchase of a car. Try to separate your emotional response from your rational response. If your parents have a car what is the point of buying your own. Perhaps instead, you should invest that thirty-five hundred dollars into a few stocks or better yet a simple savings account, borrow your parent’s Buick on Fridays and get a ride on Saturdays. When you do decide that the Regal is no longer fitting, make sure your choice is thought out and ready. The sticker on the windshield isn’t the only money you’ll be putting forward: gas, insurance, maintenance and care – things that really affect your driving career and lifestyle choices. Which also don’t improve until after the first million miles. How much gas will it cost to drive a million miles? Maybe you should just walk.
A simple way to master your twenties is to spend less than what you earn. It’s all about developing good habits around saving, spending and debt. Be ready to budget. “The earlier you do it, the quicker you’ll get richer.” Your twenties are also the time to invest in yourself. Education isn’t something that you should skimp on even though the tuition looks eye-gouging now, it’s extremely beneficial in the long run. You can acquire strong credentials and skills that will better place you for the future. In order to get ready, you have to get smart. Now is the time to become financially aware and now is the time where access to those resources are unlimited. Whether you visit your finance office at the university, make an appointment with a bank’s financial adviser, or sit down with a trusted friend that discuss options with you, it is imperative that you consider your future financially. A little goes a long way and it goes fast.
In your thirties you will start to feel the heat and the pressure. A good way to ensure that it won’t be too agonizingly stressful is to have a degree under your belt before your thirties. Prepare yourself for the life ahead of you. Seriously don’t worry about what you’re going to wear tomorrow or who said what on Facebook. Start worrying about how you’re going to pay for groceries when food prices go up; what you’re going to do when oil becomes obsolete and we’re asking the buffaloes for their shit as a gas alternative. Another means of preparing for your thirties is to set up the big-ticket items upfront. Purchase an entertainment system (whatever you prefer, today the options are limitless) that you can keep for a while. Make sure you’re getting your money’s worth; one with quality or at least a reasonably good warranty; one that won’t get boring easily; and one with a price you can brag about. Use this criteria on all your big-ticket items as well as all your medium ticket items. Purchase a car, a computer, an iPod that you can pass on if you need or better yet, if you can. Learn to live on less because less really is more.
By your forties life should be steady and should have too much concern about how you’ll pay your bills. Whatever path you take, whatever happens in life, you want to have your shit together by now. At least this is the time you finally get it together and are able to walk into the next chapter with confidence and ease. Food should be cooked without burning and beds should be made without thinking. That savings account should be at a peak and collecting the primo interest. Should be, should be, should be – alright I’ll get back to when you I’m forty.
Don’t waste this, start saving, start thinking, start preparing for a lifetime that only seems far away. Be ready for success but prepped for failure. Most of don’t be scared!