20 of the Best Purchases to Make in your 20’s

Brooklyn Bridge

Since I’m always talking about the things that you shouldn’t spend money on and how you can save more, I thought it would be a good idea to also talk about the things you SHOULD spend money on.

The reason you should save on the little things is so you can spend on the things you actually care about or things that will have a positive impact on you.

For example, a new smartphone will only make you happy for so long, but a trip to a new country will be an experience that you will never forget. Don’t get me wrong….if having the latest smartphone makes your life easier by providing the technology to get more done, do it.

It is important to make purchasing decisions based on life efficiency and happiness.

I think the things below can make your life easier and more enjoyable. (These aren’t in any specific order)

 

  1. Take your parents out for a nice meal. They changed your diapers. Treat them.
  2. Buy a plane ticket to somewhere you haven’t been before. You never know what you will see or who you will meet.
  3. Vegetables and fruits. Eat them. You will have more energy throughout the day.
  4. A gym membership. This just means to have some sort of access to exercise. You could have an apartment gym or you could be a member of ClassPass.
  5. A nice suit. Job interviews, gala’s, weddings….make sure you look presentable and marketable at these events. You are always selling yourself.
  6. Give. Give to the little girl that is starting a side business while in the 6th grade, and give to someone else that desperately needs it. You can change someone’s life.
  7. Start a business. Have something you are passionate about or a burning desire to change something? Give yourself a budget and start. You never know where it will take you.
  8. Haircuts. I have heard about people that go on extreme money diets and stop paying for grooming. I’ve seen haircuts for as low as $2.99. Please get one.
  9. Save for retirement/future. Put aside money each month towards your future. Start with whatever you can afford and increase it over time.
  10. Books. Read everything. Only buy one at a time to make sure you finish it. You can also get almost any book from the library for free.
  11. Take a class. This can be a yoga class or an art class. You may hate both but you may find something that you love.
  12. Shoes. You don’t need Cole Haan or Jimmy Choo, but you need to have a presentable pair to wear for work and big events.
  13. A computer. This is where all big ideas started.
  14. Coffee. Go inside a coffee shop and sit by yourself. You will be surprised by who you see and meet.
  15. A challenge. Challenge yourself to something. Run a 5K or be a part of a cooking contest.
  16. Toothpaste and floss. Please use.
  17. A good pillow and blanket. Sleep is important and since it may be difficult to own an expensive mattress, a good pillow and a good blanket will do for now.
  18. Stock. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but make you sure you understand what you are buying. Here is a great story about a couple that made a fortune from a small amount of Apple stock.
  19. Debt. I know it’s not a purchase, but make sure you pay down debt as aggressively as needed.
  20. Insurance. It doesn’t always work for the small things, but it is there in case something tragic happens.

Just because these are smart purchases doesn’t mean that you should go buy the most expensive of these things. There is alway a way to save, but I do believe that these things will help make your life easier and happier.

Interview with the Founder of Women of Silicon Valley

I hope everyone had a chance to read my featured article on Business Insider last week! If you didn’t, check it out here!

As you all know, I have made it a goal of mine to interview many of the top business minds, entrepreneurs, and millennials that are doing awesome things. It is important for me to display the lives of these people to my audience so they can be inspired to do ground breaking things in their lives.

I have had the chance to hear from some pretty fascinating people in my life but this one has definitely made a big impact on me.

Lea Coligado is a millennial that is disrupting Silicon Valley……while in her Senior year at Stanford.

Some of her credentials include….

-Computer Science major at Stanford

-Intern at Facebook

-Intern at Apple

-Intern at a startup based in LA

-Founder of highly successful blog called Women of Silicon Valley

-A following of more than 32,000 people…..since December 2014

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And most importantly, Lea is on a mission to close the gender gap in tech while displaying many of the talented woman working in tech from all over the world.

Lea wants to inspire and encourage woman and it sounds like she is on the right track.

 Lea, tell me a little bit about your background.

I’m a rising senior at Stanford University majoring in Computer Science. I grew up in a suburb of Dallas, Texas, but my heart is Californian and my stomach Italian. Since starting college I’ve interned at Facebook, Apple, and a startup based in LA. I’m interested in engineering pretty interfaces and even prettier code.

Where did you get the idea for Women of Silicon Valley?

I’m a huge fan of Humans of New York, and I was perusing some of its photos during my winter break last December when it suddenly hit me: what if we transferred the same model to showcasing women in tech? I’d always been passionate about closing the gender gap, and an opportunity to do something about it had fallen into my lap.

I immediately started contacting awesome women in tech I knew personally, and thanks to their enthusiasm for the concept, the blog had momentum. I decided to name it Women of Silicon Valley because Silicon Valley is somewhat synonymous with tech, but we feature women from all over the world.

What are your goals for the blog?

I want to provide two things at a massive scale: 1) sympathy and 2) inspiration.

Sympathy is important because it displaces the sense of loneliness women often feel in a predominantly white, male industry: loneliness in their gender, loneliness in their race, or loneliness in the experiences they face. When these role models share their challenges with imposter syndrome or external negative behaviors, they erode the loneliness by giving solidarity to all the other people who’ve faced the same challenges.

Inspiration is important because “if you can’t see it, you can’t be it.” These role models are showing our followers great things they can aspire to.

How did you land internships with both Apple and Facebook?

Great question — and to be honest, I don’t even know the answer! I know I’m technically proficient, but the quality of applicants to these companies is so high I think it becomes a crapshoot at some point. All you can do is read “Cracking the Coding Interview” like it’s your Bible and act confident in every round of technical interview you go into.

 Aside from being passionate about decreasing the gender gap in tech, what else are you passionate about?

You can’t be invested in tech’s gender gap and not be invested in the gap in race. The industry has a long way to go to becoming a better place for Black, Hispanic and Native American engineers, and I really hope Women of Silicon Valley can help encourage minorities by showcasing examples of amazing Black, Hispanic (and hopefully in the future) Native American women. For example, I’m a huge fan of CODE2040, an organization that creates opportunities for racial minorities in tech, and we got to feature its co-founder & CEO Laura Weidman-Powers just last month.

Outside of tech, you could say I’m passionate about food. And eating.

Who is the most interesting person you have interviewed and why?

Can I skip this question? It’s honestly too hard to pick one person!

Sheryl Sandberg is one of your big role models. What makes her different?

I think her choice to write Lean In was really brave. Silicon Valley can become a popularity game of trying to fit in with the right people, often men, and I imagine writing a book about feminism was not exactly risk-averse. But as we see now, it was so worth it, and she made society analyze the different ways we treat women and men.

Plus, she’s wonderfully accessible. At most companies, not even your boss’s boss will invite you over for dinner; but every year Sheryl invites all female interns at Facebook for a barbecue at her house to provide them some good food and community. It’s great.

What piece of advice would you give to millennial women that want to work in tech?

Get comfortable with standing up for yourself. Wherever you work you’re going to encounter situations where someone says something that disrespects you, discredits you, or just really rubs you the wrong way, and you’ll be faced with a heavy responsibility: teaching people how to treat you.

The first time you address these comments it’s usually uncomfortable because it requires conflict, either with another person or with an innate desire for people to like you; but I’ve found that after the first time, it just becomes easier and easier to nip these comments in the bud. To be sure, you have to be able to choose your battles and discern when confrontation is not worth the time or energy. But I’d say many times the temporary discomfort in standing up for yourself is an investment in the esteem in which both you and your colleagues hold you.

I truly believe Lea is on a mission to change the world and I think we will see her as a tech CEO in the near future!

You can check out Lea’s blog here and follow her on Twitter @WomenOfSV