You’re fresh out of college and ready to begin the next chapter of your life. There’s a lot of exciting moments ahead of you as a young adult—but there’s also plenty of hurdles that will come your way.
Whether you’re starting a new job, paying off student loans, or moving out of your parents’ house, your early 20’s can be full of financial instability and stress. But by familiarizing yourself with financial literacy, you can be better prepared for success as a young adult.
Here is a guide to beginning this journey:
What is financial literacy?
Financial literacy is the idea of being competent and knowledgeable in different money management skills, which allows you to take personal financial matters into your own hands. Obviously there are some situations where you may need the advice of a professional, but for the most part, you should be capable of managing your accounts and making sound decisions.
This means being able to successfully take care of the basic necessities like moving money around from your paycheck, making loan payments, and maintaining a healthy budget. It also means being able to make tough, but important financial decisions for some of the large milestones of your life, like purchasing your first home or setting up a retirement plan.
Financial literacy is all about self-improvement and gaining knowledge, so it’s never too late to start, and there is always room for improvement.
Important milestones for young adults
Once you begin your adult life and find your first full-time job, there’s bound to be many other “firsts” for you along the way. While all of these milestones are specific to the individual, and some of them may not apply to you, others will and you need to be prepared for everything that gets thrown your way.
Here is a list of some important milestones for young adults, with a financial literacy tip or trick for each:
Once you start earning a steady paycheck, you may think it’s time to purchase your first car all on your own. So the question becomes, how much should you spend? The general rule of thumb is that you shouldn't spend more than 15% of your monthly take-home pay. For this reason, you may strongly consider leasing your first car rather than buying. Not only is a monthly lease payment cheaper than if you were to buy the car, but you’ll be able to get a newer model and are only tied to a three-year contract in most cases. Even with a lease, you can still negotiate the price, and if you want to keep the car at the end of your contract, you can usually purchase it for the remaining balance.
Starting a retirement plan:
Although your retirement may seem like it’s decades away, you really need to start planning as soon as possible. If you plan ahead correctly, the money in your retirement plan should grow over time. This means that the earlier that you begin financing your retirement, the better off you’ll be in the long-run. The first step is to take full advantage of the 401(k) program that your employer offers. Ideally, you should be contributing between 10 to 15 percent of your paycheck, but if you can afford more it’s even better. At the very least, you need to be matching your employer’s contribution, which is usually between 3 to 6 percent. This benefit is like free money, so taking full advantage of this will help you out in the long-term.
Paying off debts:
Time is of the essence when it comes to paying off debts. The longer it takes you to make payments, the more the interest will compound—this means it will take you, even more, time and money to pay off your debts. The key to paying off debts is to create a realistic plan and timetable by evaluating your overall budget. It certainly can be hard enough to keep up with the minimum payments, but you really should try to pay off even more if you’re able to. Unfortunately, this means that you may need to place a firm grip on your spending habits. To make things a bit easier, you can follow different debt management plans like the debt snowball or avalanche methods.
Becoming financially independent:
There’s not a more freeing feeling than becoming financially independent from your parents. Many young people receive financial assistance from their parents throughout college, and even into young adulthood—that’s nothing to be ashamed of. But being able to go out and do things on your own dime is a source of pride and accomplishment for young adults. One of the most important steps you can take to become financially independent is to set goals.
What expenses are your parents covering? How will your budget and save to start covering those expenses?
Having honest and open conversations with your parents can help you create a plan and learn along the way.
Financial skills that young adults should know
In order to guide yourself through early adulthood and all of the milestones that come with it, you need to be well-versed in various financial skills. Being able to save, budget, and invest are all important facets of financial literacy.
Here is a list of some skills that should be the foundation of your financial decision-making as a young adult:
You’ve likely already learned how to budget from the time you had your first part-time job. However, as a young adult with more responsibilities, and more money, it’s time to establish a more in-depth budget. If you haven’t created a spreadsheet that breaks down your monthly income and various expenses by category, that’s step one. But you really should try to budget for several years into the future. This is the only way to prepare for larger expenses in your late 20’s, such as buying your first house. If you want to have enough money for a down payment, the time to start saving is now.
Once you’ve covered your monthly expenses and set aside part of your paycheck for a 401(k), you can start exploring other investments. It may be tempting to spend any additional income on your “wants,” but making the right investments is one of the best ways to grow your income and earn more over time. If you want to make more long-term investments in a retirement plan, you can invest in a traditional or Roth IRA.
The main difference between the two accounts is when you pay taxes on the money—a Roth IRA is for after-tax contributions and a traditional IRA is for pre-tax contributions. A Roth IRA is better for individuals who expect to earn a higher income later in life, making it the preferential choice for young adults. If you’re looking for more short-term investments, popular options include money market funds and short-term CDs.
Many young adulthood milestones are much more financially feasible if you have good credit. Having a poor credit score will lead to higher interest rates on loans, which could cause even more issues with debt. Sometimes, you could even be denied access to a credit card if you have a bad score. According to a poll on credit card usage, this is one of the main reasons why more than 1 in 4 young adults (age 22 to 30) doesn’t even have a credit card.
Luckily, it is possible to still access a financial account without a credit check. These types of accounts offer the perfect stop-gap to access banking features until you are able to build credit. As you start off young adulthood, two things are critical to building and improving your credit score: making your bill payments on time and paying off debt. If you can do these things routinely, you’ll be on the right path.
How to practice financial literacy
Now that you’ve learned a fair bit about financial literacy, and how to apply these skills to your personal finances throughout young adulthood, it’s important to remember that you should always be practicing. Financial literacy is a mindset.
It’s all about gaining knowledge.
Take what you learn and apply it, but also never stop learning. Expand your knowledge and skillset by staying up to date with industry trends. Read books and listen to podcasts from thought leaders in the finance industry. Take your experiences as a young adult and carry them with you into your 30’s and beyond.
Never settle for your current financial wellbeing; there’s always room for improvement.
The mood has been heavy in my household as our family has been deep in discussion about the systemic racism that's been witnessed on a global scale.
I've not been overly active online. Refraining from putting out content in favor of spending my time learning, listening, and understanding.
My 17-year old daughter, Chardonae, is an activist at heart and always thinking about how we can be part of the change. With passioned tears streaming down her cheek, she reminded us that we need to live the change. That she doesn't want to live in a world where people are treated so unjustly and persecuted for the color of their skin. That talking is not enough. It takes purposeful, peaceful action to live the changes we wish to see in the world.
I've never been so proud of her.
Right away, as a family, we made a commitment to learning what we can. Turning our attention to podcasts, films, books, and other media sources to learn further about the issues at hand and how we can do our part to aid in ending systemic racism. (resources linked below)
Deepening of Learning, Understanding, and Listening starts at Home
We're also listening to the Black community. We want to deepen our understanding and knowledge of both their experiences and the pain, frustration, and anger being felt.
On May 31st, to further our understanding and to be a part of the change, we participated in a peaceful protest at the Vancouver Art Gallery. I felt overwhelmed by emotions as I realized that my beloved city of Vancouver saw 3,500 people showing up on a day's notice! 3,500 people — of all colors — showed up to give their support while offering their voices and energy to a global movement.
A document entitled, ‘Anti-Racism Resources‘ that contains numerous links to books, articles, podcasts, organizations, and more to help educate us all on the history of race in North America, and how we as individuals can help to eliminate hate from society.
Unfortunately, many relatives and acquaintances of drug and alcohol misusers don’t do it right. Many people carry stigmas and misconceptions around the reality of addiction, acting upon those notions in a way that – although the intent is to help – causes harm and pushes the individual further away from recovery.
For best results, helping someone addicted to drugs and alcohol should start with education. By equipping yourself with the correct knowledge on how early life experiences can lead to addiction and problematic substance misuse, you’ll be better suited to supporting a friend or loved one who may be struggling with drugs and alcohol.
Trauma amongst addicts
Trauma is one of the most common elements present in the life of an addict. Studies on addiction have long shown that as many as 75% of adults who enter treatment for drug and alcohol addiction have suffered some form of trauma or abuse in their lives, with a third of those individuals going on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder.
Tellingly, any individual who has been diagnosed with PTSD is three times more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol compared to the average person.
This indicates, of course, that addiction can manifest as a means to manage and cope with trauma and difficulty in life. Childhood abuse in some form is a very common occurrence in early life among addicts, with drugs and alcohol often resorted to in an effort to manage feelings of self-contempt and worthlessness. In time, anger develops in the mix, leading many addicts to punish themselves for conceived flaws that they believe caused or enabled the trauma they experienced as children or young adults.
In time, addiction can be continued with the help of negative self-image and narrative. In a perverse way, a person addicted to drugs and alcohol can perpetuate and justify their self-abuse by forming a view of themselves wherein they are worthless and unworthy of self-respect – or the love and affection of those around them.
This feeds into the difficult truth that addiction is a disease that thrives in isolation. A person struggling with problematic drug and alcohol use will invariably see their social interactions and circles shrink around them, with the drug of choice taking center-stage above all other considerations. Friends, family, and colleagues are steadily choked out, helping the person to sustain their self-abuse in an environment where only they and their growing dependency exist.
The power of emotional support
If addiction grows and takes hold in darkness, the light of social support and the care of loved ones is the antidote. Understanding and appreciating this fact is tremendously important and is the foundation from where a person, family, or group of friends can proceed in an effort to help a loved one who is misusing substances.
The picture of self-abuse, tied so strongly to trauma and negative self-image, is one that will grow alone and do all it can to push the individual away from those closest to them. Practically speaking, this can manifest in a range of harmful actions or emotions that can make the person difficult to be around, such as theft, anger, and erratic behavior.
Supporting a loved one who is misusing substances is an emotionally draining experience, and it’s important to honor that difficulty; suppressing anger and despair at a loved one’s lack of progress towards sobriety or the harm they have inflicted upon you is unhealthy. Instead, it’s best to appreciate those emotions as valid experiences that are managed with the wider understanding that, although this person may be causing you difficulty and harm, your presence and availability is one of the most profoundly important kinds of support you can offer to them to help their recovery.
Help is at hand
If you’re struggling with addiction to drugs and alcohol, or are concerned about a loved one who is, more resources and professional help are available to you.
Help Me Stop maintains a regularly updated article section designed to educate on the reality of addiction and rehabilitation – it’s free and easily accessed via our website, where you can also find details on our intensive outpatient and online rehabilitation programs.
Getting help for addiction can be scary enough without the added fear of contracting COVID 19.
As you all know, over the past few weeks, the news has been flooded with reports of what is being called a global pandemic, COVID 19 (AKA the Coronavirus), which originated in China but has quickly made its way to the US. During this tense time, no one wants to go into a crowded rehab or to support group meetings filled with dozens of people with compromised immune systems caused by the overuse of substances.
You may be unaware that there are other options available to you to help you to solve your addiction that will not only reduce your risks of contracting the Corona Virus but that will also provide you with better results of moving past your addictions.
In short, you can learn how to move past addiction from the comfort of your home with a certified Freedom Model Instructor. We have been helping people with these one-on-one at-home sessions for nearly a decade now. People enjoy both the convenience and especially now, the safety offered by such an approach. We also have a residential remote retreat, the St. Jude Retreat, that houses only 6 guests in a remote rural location, miles away from any urban centers.
Many people are turning to telemedicine for all kinds of medical and mental health issues. Telemedicine, or telehealth, allows people to have private consultations and even receive treatment with health professionals without actually seeing them in person using telecommunications technology.
It’s as simple as when you Facetime or Skype with your kids or friends, except you, are gaining life-saving information and tools to move past your addiction. This offers many benefits over and above going to an office or health care facility to receive treatment not the least of which is reducing your exposure to the COVID 19 virus.
Until recently there were no telehealth options to help people solve their addictions. Sure, there are many self-help books, but nearly all of them recommend and even encourage attending support group meetings and group therapy. They do not offer a viable solution for people to implement on your own.
The Freedom Model for Addictions
Escape the Treatment and Recovery Trap is the first addiction-help book that provides a comprehensive guide on how you can stop your addiction on your own and in complete privacy.
The response to The Freedom Model book has been overwhelmingly positive, and many people report life-changing results after reading the book. Check out some of the amazing reviews of the book here.
However, there are those who want additional help more than simply reading the text, and want to be able to meet with an addiction professional to work through some of the more difficult issues that can occur as you work to change your substance use habits.
The Freedom Model Private Instruction Program is the first program of its kind employing telehealth technology to guide people in solving their addictions. Again, you can work one-on-one with a Freedom Model Instructor via teleconference from the privacy of your home, office, car — wherever you are.
You can stay safe from the risk of COVID 19 infection and still get the benefits of working with an addiction professional to solve your problem.
As is true with any viral infection, the best defense is a good offense. Today you can stay safe, get the addiction help you need with the program that has the highest verifiable success rate of any addiction-help method in the world – The Freedom Model Private Instruction Program.
Authors: By Mark Scheeren and Michelle Dunbar
For more information about The Freedom Model Private Instruction Program, or the St. Jude Retreat, you can call 888-424-2626.
Excerpt from the Freedom Model book - Chapter 1:
Do you want an addiction – a lifelong diagnosis – or do you want to see yourself as having a habit that you can solve completely?
Your answer tells you if The Freedom Model for Addictions is the answer you have been looking for.
The Freedom Model debunks the addiction disease concept as well as the idea that “recovery” is needed after you’ve decided to abstain or moderate your use. Much of the content within the book may surprise you, maybe even shock you. For example:
Did you know addiction IS NOT a disease?
Did you know the brain disease theory is not based on sound science and is actually a myth?
Did you know that addictions are habits, just like many other habits, and that as such are quite easy to break once you know the facts?
Does your gut tell you that treatment is just another money grab from those who are vulnerable, and that something is drastically wrong with the rehab industry as a whole?
If so, you’d be right – rehabs don’t work, and The Freedom Model tells you exactly why and how this Western cultural institution came to gain such power over people’s lives.
For those immersed in the 12 step culture or in the rehab culture, this book provides a path out of those institutions, and into a much more empowered state of mind.
Our experience of researching drug and alcohol use and helping thousands with these issues for more than 30 years tells us people desire to be completely free from addiction. They also want to be free from the idea of being “in recovery” just as much. Neither of these options: addiction or recovery – have held great favor with the masses.
In fact, the vast majority of people with drug and alcohol problems (more than 90%) don’t go to treatment nor do they enter the subculture of “recovery.” They simply move past their addictions, and they do so without any treatment whatsoever. Did you know that? This is the great untold story in treatment circles, but one we unearth for your benefit. This fact alone demonstrates just how normal it is to break habits that we no longer want in our lives.
Let’s face it, people desire freedom; freedom to choose their own direction; freedom to move past habits that have them feeling trapped and in pain; freedom from the addict and alcoholic identity; freedom from the limits of 12 step culture and the drug and alcohol rehabilitation industry; freedom to be happier; freedom to move on past the struggles and challenges of life. The Freedom Model guides the reader on this path by offering the opposite of the treatment industry’s empty promises – it offers real freedom!
The Freedom Model is an approach that deconstructs the construct of addiction and recovery and all that surrounds these beliefs.
By doing so, you can be completely free to move on in your life without those constructs holding you back and keeping you needlessly trapped in an endless addiction/recovery/addiction cycle. The Freedom Model renders addiction and recovery as completely obsolete and unnecessary in both your personal life and as cultural constructs that keep the masses blind to the solutions that exist within the individual. While The Freedom Model is a book, it is the research and the message contained on those pages that are the real solution to an individual’s struggles with drugs and alcohol.
A well-tended lawn is not only a pleasure to look at, but it is also a place for the entire family to gather and relax. Keeping it clean and tidy makes it a great place for kids to play or even set up a tent to spend time outside during the night.
While the kids play around, the adults can use the lawn to decompress after a hard day at work. Do you remember walking barefoot in the grass? That is one special feeling that can be accessible every day if your lawn is taken care of.
If you manage to maintain the lawn, you basically extend your living space and keep your privacy intact. Even if you aren't much of an outdoorsy person, there are undeniable benefits to having a beautiful lawn. It's just something about the smell of freshly cut grass that makes you stay outside until the last golden streaks of the sunset vanish away. And the more time you spend there, the better it is for your general health in the long run. Here are…
7 Improvements to Your Life That a Tidy Lawn Can Bring
Keeps Your Kids Fit
Sadly, it is a well-known fact that childhood obesity is a severe risk for your children. With so many food options available on counters, the best we can do to maintain health is to make time for physical exercises. If you can add a hammock or a swing to your lawn, this can naturally attract the kids to hang out and play. Going outside and engaging them in activities like baseball or soccer are also great ways to keep them away from the TV.
With global warming as a significant risk, it would make sense that each of us does our part. Plants release oxygen by consuming carbon dioxide. So, what can be better to improve the quality of the air that you breathe than by planting some trees? A few trees can offset the carbon footprint created by the cars in your neighborhood. Your lawn and garden can also contribute greatly to increasing the air quality in your area.
Cools down Your House and Lowers Your Bills
Trees act as great shade when placed close to the house, especially if you can block your windows. Meanwhile, having green grass on the lawn will help keep it cool. Asphalt absorbs and stores heat make your AC bills higher.
Improves Soil Health
As many of you know, plant roots help maintain soil integrity. Blend dry grass, branches, dead leaves, and flowers with the upper layer of the soil to make it more fertile. In the unfortunate scenario of an earthquake being occurred, the soil integrity could prove very beneficial. The trees would not collapse so easily if the lawn around them is healthy.
Lower Fire Risk
If you can maintain healthy grass and a green landscape, the risk of fire is greatly reduced. Your house will not be in the way of the fire, thanks to trees and grass. This is not only because of the physical aspect but also due to the fact that humidity is around the house. We all know that trees and healthy grass do not catch fire due to the high concentration of water.
It's not a secret that all the high-value houses on sale have well-kept lawns. Not only do they make the house look better, but they also send a clear signal to the buyers that the previous owner has been taking care of the house. Another important aspect is the fact that you would also want your neighbors to have a tidy yard.
Enhances Mental Wellbeing
Being surrounded by lush trees and colorful flowers is a proven boost to a person’s mental health and physical wellbeing. Actually, spending time anywhere in nature, in a park or the wilderness, improves your general mood, triggers new ideas, and results in a happier life overall.
As you can see in the above list, the benefits are quite convincing. However, setting up your lawn and maintaining its perfect shape is not always easy. It requires attention at all times and dedication in order to get awesome results. Homemakerguide.com contains a large collection of tips and tricks to help you with the task of keeping a healthy lawn.
In the comment section, we invite you to share pictures of your yards, engage in constructive discussion about keeping the lawn healthy, what trees and plants are your favorites, and anything else related to a lively lawn.
Elizabeth Barlettah is a mother of 2 kids, who live in a house with a perfect picturesque garden, which Elizabeth designed on her own. She knows lots of tips, even how to find the best garden shoes and shares them with pleasure in her articles.
The advantages of swimming for kids far exceed the possible downsides, so even if your child is under 2 – stock up with the best diapers for swimming and let's get that started.
Getting colds and the flu from introduction to cold water throughout the swimming is one of the most feared hazards, yet based on false assumptions.
Colds and the flu are commonly transmitted by contact with an infected individual. There is a higher probability they will come down with a bug or flu from you than from swimming. One dependable guideline to work with is that, if your child is sick, keep him/her home to limit the spread to other people.
Parents, for the most part, remove their kids from classes “as a careful step.”
They think that their youngsters will come down with a bug or seasonal influenza from being in the pool. Their kids end up missing out on the fun during the winter and spring period and also their swimming abilities recognizably relapse.
5 Amazing Reasons to Register Your Child for Swim Lessons this Spring
So, how about we explore how beneficial swimming throughout the winter can be for your children?
1) Swimming Will Help them Stay on Track
When kids enjoy a recess from swimming during the spring, they may need to invest some extra energy reminding their muscles what to do when they hop back in the water.
Repetition is best when developing any skill, including swimming.
Therefore, proceeding with exercises throughout the whole year will help keep them on track with their swimming progress. In a nutshell, when you enlist your kid in swim exercises only during the hotter months, they might not have what it takes to get back to their previously earned swimming strengths.
2) Health Benefits
Youngsters who swim all through winter are unlikely to come down with far fewer bugs and influenza. Swimming, alongside great nourishment, can enable your little ones to remain fit and strong during the year.
A cessation of exercises through the winter months ordinarily brings about a decrease in a kid’s faith in themselves and freedom in the water. In addition to this, there is a significant drop-in strategy and stamina, inside a time of half a month or even less. Aside from the significant issue of having lowered immunity, this is the reason swimming and swimming exercises ought to be organized inside the family calendar and spending plan.
3) Boosts Brain Development
Swimming has been demonstrated to aid mental and brain development. For school-matured children, it`s fundamental for the advancement of academic execution as well as coordination, balance, motor development, and focus. Such upkeep and support are especially significant for babies, toddlers, and pre-school kids when long-term aptitude maintenance and muscle memory are beginning to build.
4) Regression in Confidence and Performance
A half-year out of the water over the winter breaks can prompt issues such as dreading water and a decrease in execution.
Proceeding with swimming exercises over winter and spring is an ideal approach to avoid generally undesirable results such as being frightened of the water, or simply feeling uncomfortable in and around water.
In addition to this, there could be financial repercussions to parents of children who don`t train during the cold season. It is better to pay for swimming throughout the year than to pay for extra exercises during summer or for additional exercises inside a term to make up for lost time over the break.
5) Drowning Dangers
The threats presented by water don't decrease because the months are colder. Most cities have warm atmospheres that make it possible to swim in pools, spas, and at the seashore throughout the cold months. On top of this, we have other potential drowning risks that we should always be on the lookout for. Some of them include showers, lakes, indoor pools, and tubs.
Swimming is a sport that can help spare your kids from danger. In light of this, any choice to defer a youngster's swim exercises in the cold months ought to be considered cautiously. Interest in swimming exercises through the spring will improve a kid's water mindfulness and security.
You now can understand that swimming through winter can keep your kids fit and healthy. Therefore, it is only wise to quit dreading wet hair, get your children out of the house, away from digital screens, and into swimming pools. Swimming is an extraordinary method to fix your little one's restlessness, while still having exceptional experiences. Consider these eye-openers to benefit your children.
For questions and additions concerning swimming during winter, please share with us by commenting below.
Elizabeth is a traveling mom with a nutrition degree. She knows everything about baby products, even how to choose the best humidifier for baby. She -writes about her tips and travel-hacks on her blog.