Becoming financially successful and winning with your money can be accomplished with the right game plan and actions. Luckily, you don’t need a finance degree to be good with money. In this post, you’ll learn the 15 steps you can take to improve your financial situation in your 20’s, and how to become financially smart in your 20’s.
Are you looking to get into a better financial situation? Do you want to be able to make financially smart decisions? Would you like to save more money and learn about personal finances? Are you in debt and want to get out of debt?
This might be obvious to you, but the financial decisions you make in your 20’s can either help or hurt your financial future.
Unfortunately, there are people who, either through bad luck or bad decisions, do not have their financial house in order in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, and cannot live the life they want to live.
I believe that through intentional living and smart decision making, anyone can be successful.
It’s possible that these same people could be in better financial situations if they made different choices.
The thing is with personal finance, these choices are usually not life changing. You would be surprised if I told you an extra $50 a month in savings (not a lot of money each month) could lead to thousands later in life!
Becoming better with your finances, finding financial success, and winning with your money in your 20’scan build a great foundation for your future self.
In this post, I’m going to share with you 15 steps, and a number of great resources for learning personal finance, to help you become more confident when handling your finances and money.
Let’s get into this personal finance basics post!
Below are the 15 steps to win with your money which I will cover in this post. By following these steps, you can create a great financial foundation for your life early in adulthood.
After creating a great financial foundation, you can then start thinking about financial freedom.
This post however is all about the steps to take to create an incredibly solid financial foundation.
The 15 steps to becoming financially successful are:
Let’s dive into each of these steps for winning with money in greater detail.
Our minds are incredibly powerful and can quite literally create its own reality.
Using positive thinking can manifest itself in building the financial situation you want.
Telling yourself you are good with money can lead to you becoming better with money.
You are what you say you are.
Saying, “I’m a negative person who is broke and will never be rich” is a reinforcing trap. Saying this sort of thing will result in you being a negative person who is broke and will never be rich.
Likewise, telling yourself, “I’m a positive person who can build wealth and improve my financial situation” will lead to improving your financial situation.
Using positive thinking can help guide you on your path to winning with money.
While mindset alone will not change your financial situation, by starting to think positive thoughts, you will start believing in yourself and change for the better.
Think about this for a second: there is so much money in the world, and to become a little bit wealthier – you just need to get a little bit of it.
In the world, there are trillions and trillions of units of wealth (dollars, whatever your country’s currency is, etc).
0.0000001% of 1 Trillion Dollars is $10,000.
Think about that, of all the money in the world, you only need to get 0.0000001% of it to get to 5 figures in savings.
Can you do this?
Getting into an abundance mindset will let you believe in yourself, and also realize that you can win while others win.
Creating value and doing what’s right in the world can lead to riches – you don’t need to steal or cut others down to make more money.
Do you decide what will happen to you in your life, or do you let life decide what will happen to you?
Improving your financial situation involves intentional living and doing what you want with your time, money and efforts.
By setting goals, making a plan, and executing on that plan, you can build wealth, pay down debt and grow your savings.
To do this, you need to start living intentionally and practice proactive behavior.
Instead of letting life happen to you, you need to take action and lead a life of intention and action.
After making the decision to live with intention, a decision to care about your financial situation, then you can get onto learning about the basics of personal finances, come up with a financial plan, and start executing your plan.
One of my favorite quotes is “What gets measured, gets managed”, by Peter Drucker.
The idea behind this quote is especially important in the world of personal finance.
If you don’t know where you are with your finances, how are you going to get to where you want to go?
Tracking your income and expenses is easily the most important step for improving your financial situation. Just knowing how much you are saving (or spending) each month will allow you to prioritize what you can cut back on, or what you should change regarding your spending habits.
At a minimum, you should track your income, expenses, savings rate, and net worth.
Once you know each of these numbers, you can then start making changes in your spending habits to start saving more, paying down debt, investing more, etc.
Looking at your bank statements is one place to start, but there are also a number of great softwares (or Excel) which you can use to track your personal finances.
After you’ve started tracking your numbers, now it’s time to start learning more about personal finance.
When I think about personal finance, I think of the following topic areas:
These personal finance topic areas have some overlap, but a lot of the content is unique and specific to a certain goal and situation.
Learning about personal finance basics can be done through reading personal finance books, personal finance blogs, or personal finance podcasts.
You’ll have to figure out which medium of learning is best for you, but I can assure you, there are hundreds of great resources out there for you to explore.
For me, when I started on my personal finance journey, I read a lot of personal finance blogs. I also love reading books, so read a lot of different personal finance and investing books.
You might like podcasts, and luckily there are a ton of podcasts to help you learn the basics of personal finance!
Over time, you’ll become comfortable with different personal finance terms and concepts, and get on to becoming a personal finance expert.
After starting to track your expenses and learning more about personal finance, now, it’s time to start building a solid financial foundation.
The best place to start, which will bring fast results for your financial situation, is to cut unnecessary expenses.
Even $100 a month can add up over time, and I’d be very surprised if you weren’t spending $100 on things you don’t necessarily need (I know I do even in months where I’m really good with my spending!).
The first place you should start is by examining the big three expenses: housing, transportation and food.
While it might not make sense to move, over time, you can consider downsizing or picking a slightly less nice apartment to save more money.
For transportation, buying a slightly used car vs. buying a new luxury car lead to massive savings over time.
For food, cooking your meals vs. going out can lead to great savings.
After examining these three expense categories, subscriptions and impulse purchases are next.
Over time, you can figure out which expenses are necessary, and which expenses are unnecessary. Through this process, you will then be able to save more money over time.
Being in debt is incredibly restricting and expensive.
Whether you have credit card debt, student loan debt, a mortgage, an auto loan, or a personal loan, getting out of debt should be a priority over time.
Being in debt sucks and is not a freeing feeling.
Getting out of debt can happen faster by paying more than the minimum payment each month, and over time, you can employ some different pay down strategies, refinance, or consolidate your debts to further decrease your payments.
At the end of the day, being completely debt free is the goal, and this will help you on your path to winning with money and becoming financially successful.
After you’ve gotten a handle on your expenses and debt, now, it’s time to focus on providing value in the world and exploding your income.
While you can get the fastest personal finance benefit from decreasing your expenses, there is unlimited upside when you look at the income side of the personal finance equation.
Growing your income can involve a number of things:
At the end of the day though, you want to become more valuable in the industry you are interested in working in.
I work in the financial industry, and for me, to become successful in my role, I’ve had to:
This didn’t happen over night, but during the past 5 years, I’ve nearly doubled my salary by having this “look to add value” mindset.
You can do this too through your intentional actions and figuring how what makes sense in your current or prospective role.
While the goal is to have no debt and to never have to be in debt, there are some times in your life where financing a certain purchase (houses could make sense here).
Understanding how credit scores work, and how you can increase your credit score, is a piece of personal finance which is easy to learn and improve upon.
There are five main factors that determine your credit score:
By focusing on improving each of these categories, you can improve your credit score.
With a better credit score, you can get lower interest rates and better financing options – saving money on your interest expense if you decide to take on new debts.
Having funds set aside for emergencies is critical for being able to weather any unexpected expenses.
Saving up 3-6 months of expenses in a savings account, or having other liquid assets ready to go in times of need can be the difference between extreme stress and sleeping well at night.
Building an emergency fund is all about saving more money for an extended period of time until you are happy with your level of expenses saved up.
For me, I like having 6 months of expenses saved up, but you might like less or more. You’ll have to figure out what you are comfortable with for yourself!
While it is great to save money in traditional bank accounts, these days, banks are paying pennies in interest.
Learning about investing, and looking for other ways to grow you money over time, can help you build wealth after establishing your solid financial foundation.
There are a number of different assets and ways to invest and grow your money. Some of these asset classes include:
By learning about the pros and cons of each of these asset classes, you can then make a decide on where to put your money to try to grow it for your financial future.
In your 20s and 30s, house hacking is one of the best ways to build wealth fast and get into the real estate investing game.
For me, house hacking was my best financial move to date, and over a 4 year span, I was able to make $15,000 to live.
That’s right I made money to live in my house – through buying a house and renting it out to friends, I was able to cover my mortgage and make some money on top of the mortgage.
As I mentioned above, in step 6, cutting housing expenses can have a huge impact on your financial situation, and with house hacking, you can cut your housing expenses in a huge way.
Starting a side hustle can be incredibly rewarding, and can also be lucrative.
While side hustling is not for everyone, for me, it has definitely been a great way to gain exposure to new topics of interest, learn new skills, and grow as a person.
Over time too, your side hustle might be able to become your full time hustle!
Starting a side hustle can be as easy as mowing your neighbor’s lawn, signing up to do bookkeeping for a local small business, or refereeing a local sports league.
A side hustle could also be starting a business, a blog, or something with potential to scale!
Depending on what you want your life to look like, a side hustle might be for you, and if it is, then aligning your side hustle with your goals and dreams will lead to the best outcome.
When you start diving into personal finance, learning the basics of personal finance, and becoming a personal finance geek, you will become obsessed with money.
Over time though, you might realize that life isn’t about money, and really, money doesn’t really matter unless you are able to use that money to live an enjoyable life.
The whole point of financial success and winning with money is so that you can live your dream life and do what you want with your time!
Becoming self-aware of what you like to do, understanding there should be a balance between work and play, and understanding money isn’t everything will lead to a successful life.
Doing the right action once, and never again will not lead to success in life.
Doing the right action over and over, and repeating this process for months and years, WILL lead to success.
Personal finance success isn’t hard, but the application of consistent actions can be tough to do.
Becoming successful financially can happen if you stick with it, keep learning over time, find balance in your budget and expenses, and look to grow your income over time.
Having this mindset of consistency and action, and having patience will lead to winning with your money and becoming a financial success.
Hopefully this article provides you with a number of resources and ideas for getting on the right path for personal finance success.
What I’ve provided above are a lot of the basics of personal finance. My hope is you will go back now and click into some of the other articles to get more information on each of these topics.
While your financial situation will more likely not improve overnight, little by little, you can improve your financial situation and win with money.
If you have questions, please leave a comment below! Thanks for reading!
Intermittent fasting is a great way to mix up your eating habits and reduce the amount of time you spend eating. Intermittent fasting is not a diet, but a way to let your body maximize it’s healing potential.
In this article, you’ll learn about what is intermittent fasting, how intermittent fasting works, and the benefits of intermittent fasting.
Over the past few years, I’ve been experimenting with my eating habits and have been intermittent fasting for the past four years.
I typically don’t eat breakfast, and look to restrict my eating window to an 8 hour period throughout each day.
Growing up, I had to always eat breakfast – it’s what everyone said! But now, I truly believe “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is just a marketing scheme to get people to buy sugary cereals.
After experimenting and listening to my body, I made the switch in 2015 and have never felt better.
By skipping breakfast, I’m able to save time getting ready in the morning, have a clear mind going into work, and I allow my body to continue to clean itself.
At this point, you probably think I’m crazy, but hear me out. Intermittent fasting is very popular among health enthusiasts and there are numerous studies backing up the benefits of fasting.
While intermittent fasting may not be for you, there are other strategies and thoughts which may be worthwhile to take away from this article.
In this post, I’m going to look to answer the following questions:
Let’s begin with what is intermittent fasting.
First, a disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. Everyone’s body responds to things differently and just because I’ve had a good experience doesn’t mean you will. Please consult a real doctor if you have concerns or interest about this subject.
Intermittent fasting is a method where you restrict your eating window to limit the amount of time you spend in a fed state, and increase the amount of time you spend in a fasted state.
Being in a fasted state unlocks a number of benefits, and by increasing the amount of time in this state, you can tap into these benefits.
Our bodies naturally have evolved over time where we don’t need food, and the time spent not eating can be beneficial.
If you are always eating, your body does not have the ability to perform some of it’s natural functions – namely, cleaning itself and getting rid of the junk.
By fasting, you give your body space and time to heal itself.
In addition, when you are in a fasted state, your body is able to burn more fat because your insulin levels are low.
This is where the strategy of intermittent fasting comes in – you are still able to eat the same food you usually do, just in a restricted time frame to unlock these benefits.
To clarify, intermittent fasting is not a diet. Since you aren’t changing what you are eating, this is a benefit of intermittent fasting – it’s easy to implement!
Intermittent fasting is a strategy which changes when you eat, not what you eat.
Of course, when combined with a healthy diet and supplementation, it can result in even better results.
How does intermittent fasting work? Let’s dive into the details a little more.
As discussed in the last section, intermittent fasting gets your body into a fasted state, and in this fasted state, you are able to unlock and tap into a number of great benefits.
During and after eating a meal, your body will enter into a fed state. It is not until roughly twelve hours later where your body will enter into a fasted state.
When your body is in a fed state, your body is not able to multi-task and get rid of the junk, burn fat, and also digest food all at the same time.
Also, after eating, your insulin levels will increase, which makes it hard to burn fat.
Once you reach twelve hours and later though, this is when the benefits of intermittent fasting kick in.
From twelve hours on, your body is able to clean itself out and burn fat.
This is the power of intermittent fasting.
Now that you’ve learned what intermittent fasting is, and how intermittent fasting works, now let’s talk about the different method of intermittent fasting.
There are a few different methods of intermittent fasting:
The 16/8 method of intermittent fasting is where you have an eating window of 8 hours a day, and a fasting window of 16 hours a day.
The 16/8 method is one of the most common intermittent fasting methods (and one which I personally have tried and like). Usually, this is where people will skip breakfast and eat between 12 PM and 8 PM. Then outside that time period, there is no eating.
The Warrior’s Diet is another way to perform intermittent fasting. With the Warrior’s Diet, you fast for 20 hours and eat during a 4 hour window.
Other intermittent fasting methods include the 5/2 method of intermittent fasting, and weekly 24 hour fasts.
These two methods include doing 24 hour fasts either 1 or 2 times a week, and then not restricting your eating window at all the other days of the week.
I like throwing in a 24 hour fast once in a while, but for me the 16/8 method seems to be best if you are a creature of habit and like routine.
Now, I want to share with you what I do and how I apply intermittent fasting in my life.
Part of trying to become the master of your life and working on getting to your dream life is experimenting and trying new things.
Growing up, I was taught from a young age (as many American kids are instructed) that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
“If you don’t get breakfast, then you won’t have energy to learn at school!”
I followed this advice, and truly thought this was the case until I was 22 years old.
Throughout this entire time period, I thought that if I didn’t have something for breakfast, then I would have no energy and would die.
When I started diving down the rabbit hole of nutrition, health and eating when I was 22, I found intermittent fasting.
At first, I was skeptical and couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to purposely starve themselves – regardless of the benefits.
Starting out, it was very tough and the first time I skipped breakfast, I ended up “needing” to eat at 8:45 AM.
The next few days, I was able to extend my fasts out to lunch time, and eventually, I was able to comfortably give up breakfast all together.
What I realized is when I woke up, I wasn’t actually hungry, but instead, I was thirsty.
By drinking water, coffee or tea, I could overcome my hunger pains and get on to focusing on what mattered to me most.
Drinking water and getting enough liquids is definitely the key to successfully completing fasts.
Over time, I’ve experimented with 24 hours and 48 hour fasts, but have found I feel best when I have an eating window of 8 to 10 hours, and a fasting window of 14 to 16 hours.
Since I don’t eat breakfast anymore because I do intermittent fasting, you might be wondering what I actually do in the morning
When I wake up each morning, instead of eating breakfast, I drink 2 full glasses of water.
For me, after realizing the benefits of drinking a lot of water throughout the day, and also realizing that my body is thirsty when I wake up, 2 full glasses of water clears my mind and jump starts my body for the day.
Also, 2 full glasses of water will fill up my stomach, and will typically keep any “hunger” thoughts away for 1-2 hours.
After drinking my water, I will typically follow this up with a cup of black coffee or some green tea.
Tea and coffee without any additives do not take you out of a fasted state, and the caffeine might elevate your heart rate to get a little bit more fat burning out of the fast.
Usually around 10-11 AM I’ll have my first food. For me, I typically will have a banana, an apple, and a protein bar at this time.
I then will have lunch around 12-1 PM, and have dinner between 6 and 7 PM.
With this eating schedule, my eating window is typically between 10 and 8 PM (a 10 hour window) and my fasting window is roughly 14 hours a day.
While I could certainly expand this fasting window to 16-20 hours, I’m comfortable where I’m at. and now that I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for the last 4 years, I’ve found what works for me.
What do you think? Could intermittent fasting be for you?
Everyone is different and unique – you are different than me and I’m different than you.
We have different goals, different responses to food and diets, and different thoughts towards eating.
With this, intermittent fasting may not be for you, and if you have any health complications, seeing a doctor might be best.
At the same time, looking to lead a life where you are reaching for your fullest potential means trying new things and seeing if you can improve your life through these new experiences.
Becoming a mastermind involves challenging the status quo and figuring out life for yourself.
Intermittent fasting has been beneficial for my life, and I hope this post has inspired some new thoughts for you to think about and potentially try going forward.
Thanks for reading!