Month: July 2015 (page 2 of 3)

7 ways to dominate your 20s

I wanted to get away from the money talk for a week (kind of) and talk about some things that are important for me to express to my readers that think they are not capable of doing big things while in their 20s.

Lets face it, if you are in your 20s, you are in your freaking prime. Your metabolism hasn’t slowed down too much, your acne is starting to clear up, your parents are possibly starting to respect you, and you’re hopefully starting to make some money while trying to figure out where you “belong” in this big and bad world.

Whether or not you have graduated from college, it’s important to start setting yourself up for success in your 20s and beyond. Millennials that think they are too young to make significant changes or too young to experience extreme success, are crazy.

I think your 20s are the perfect time to start a foundation built on dominating habits that will set you up for massive success beyond your wildest dreams.

Here are 7 things you can start today that will make tomorrow a huge success.

Learn.

I am a big believer in continuing education beyond your higher education degree. No need to quit your job and spend $50k on an MBA (whole other topic), but what I mean is that you should be learning about everything you can. This includes things are beyond just your 9-5.

Instead of spending countless hours on useless activities, take a free course on Coursera where you can take all sorts of classes from Child Nutrition and Cooking at Stanford University, to Intro to Financial Accounting at the Wharton School of Business. Don’t have time or the money? Guess what? These are free and they are online.

Make mistakes.

“Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough.”

Mark Zuckerberg said this in response to an interview question about what he tells his team. Too often do I encounter people that are horrified by moving somewhere new, switching jobs or careers, or moving on from a disastrous relationship. If something isn’t working or doesn’t feel right, don’t be afraid to step out the box and into the unknown. You will get lost, but that is the only way to find what you are looking for.

Nobody will care about how many times you failed, but they will care about your success.

Budget, save, and invest.

I know you all were waiting for this one. I can’t put enough emphasis on how important it is to start treating your money right.

Let’s say you start saving/investing $200 per month at age 25 while earning a 5% return. At age 65, you would have $305,204.

How about you throw away your 20s and even some of the early part of your thirties and you finally start doing this at age 35. You will have $166,451.

Ok, lets move on.

Write.

Write goals, write in a journal, write a book, write a novel, write to your sister at camp (miss you), write down business ideas, and even write down how you plan on taking over the world (in a positive way). Writing things down gives your brain a creative outlet to express your thoughts.

Want to do something even cooler? Start a blog on a topic you love. For me, that’s teaching millennials about money and encouraging them not to settle for average. For you, it might be about your love for traveling or different types of healthy recipes.

Workout and meditate.

I think everyone needs some sort of exercise routine in their lives to keep their bodies happy and healthy. Not only will you feel better throughout the days, your results will give you confidence to conquer any obstacle that comes your way.

Read this awesome article from my one of my favorite personal finance bloggers,  Bridget Casey and how “My body is the most expensive thing I own.”

Exercising your body is great, but what about your brain? After hearing Tim Ferris and Arnold Schwarzenegger talk about the importance of meditation and how it changed their lives, I started Transcendental Meditation as a technique to help focus my brain.

I highly recommend finding a technique that helps you bring some peace to your brain, whether that be at a hot yoga class, or closing your eyes for five minutes.

Stop comparing yourself to others and concentrate on YOUR dreams.

 Who cares if your friend is working as a consultant for Mckinsey and Company while you are barely making ends meet working a sales job.

Mark Cuban was working as a bartender in his mid 20s. Enough said.

MCuban

Concentrate on the goals and dreams that YOU have, and work your ass off to learn as much as possible about everything you can.

Would you rather make $100,000/yr. now and peak at $250,000/yr., or make $30,000 right now so you can set yourself up to make an amount with no limits later?

Give.

I hate when millennials think that they aren’t capable of giving back when they have the most to offer than any other generation. Giving back doesn’t require you to write a check, but it does require you to take a genuine interest in contributing to a cause in some way.

Know how to read? How about going to read at the Boys & Girls Club once a week? Have awesome math skills? How about tutoring through an after school program in a low-income community? Know how to code? How about teaching computer classes? The list can go on. I am a big believer in every single person in this world having a unique skill set that can be taught to someone else less fortunate.

Don’t think for one second that you have to have a lot of money to give back to the community. There are lots of ways to help and lots of people that would be thrilled to learn something from you.

If you aren’t using your skills to make someone else’s life better, what’s the point? You can look up hundreds of volunteer opportunities at http://www.unitedway.org/.

I think it is important for all 20 somethings to start believing they can accomplish anything, and start setting up a foundation full of successful habits.

 

Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list to get my free e-book and starter kit!

 

5 Easy Ways to Increase Your Credit Score

ZOM5QYEIMV

 

Millennials that say their credit history and score aren’t important because they think they will be rich, their parents are rich, or they just don’t care, are wrong.

Having good credit allows you to borrow money for the new idea you have for the company that will make you millions, get you that high paying job with a company that runs a credit report on you, save you A LOT of money on a house or car, and also helps you save on such things as insurance.

Want to live in that expensive high rise building in downtown? You probably have to have good credit for that as well.

Luckily there are some quick and easy ways to increase your credit score in a short period of time.

1. If you don’t know what your score is or you have never seen a copy of your credit report, the first thing you need to do is get a free copy of your report on www.annualcreditreport.com.

This will allow you to see where you are at and if there are any errors on the report. If you see something that might be a mistake, you can use Equifax for any disputes.

2. Get a credit card, or another. I cannot believe the amount of millennials I know that don’t have credit cards. Having credit cards open and consistently making full payments toward the balance helps increase your score. The key word here is FULL. You don’t have to spend very much on the card, but make sure you get it down to a $0 balance every month. You will also start earning rewards and travel points along the way.

If you don’t have a good score and can’t get approved for a card, try getting a store card. I typically don’t recommend these as they usually have very high interest rates and many people end up misusing them, but banks tend to approve these cards for people with lowers scores.

If you already have a credit card, think about opening another and just making a small purchase on it every month. This will help your utilization ratio on the report be as low as possible, which in effect, will increase your credit score.

All of that being said, make sure you avoid any sort of credit card debt. If you already have some debt, try to bring it down as much as possible, as quickly possible.

3. Pay your bills on time. This one may sound easy and pretty simple, but making late payments can KILL your score. Payment history accounts for 35% of your total score.

If you have trouble remembering when some of your bills are due, or you just try to avoid making payments until the very last day so you can feel rich for the month, set reminders on your phone for weeks ahead and make the payments early. If you can make multiple monthly payments on something like student loans, do it.

4. Become an authorized user on a family member’s credit card. Ask your mom, dad, uncle, aunt, or whoever else if you can become an authorized user. This will allow you to get a card and start using it wisely.

I don’t recommend doing this on a friend’s account.

5. MAINTAIN. Once you have established a foundation and your score has increased to a level you like, keep up with these good habits as your score doesn’t magically remain high if you screw up. It’s important to make sure you continue to make payments on time, keep your credit card balance as close to $0 as possible, and have credit available for you to use.

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