21 Things You Should Know About Money In Your 20s

In your 20s, anything is possible. At least, that’s what it feels like, right? For many, this decade means everything from graduating college and taking adventures to starting careers and families. With all these new beginnings, it’s equally important to start getting into some smart financial habits, too. Recently, we asked Missouri Credit Union employees what advice they wish they would have taken when they were in their 20s. Here’s what they had to say:

  1. Always enroll in the employers’ 401k plan, especially if they’re contributing or matching your deposits. –Jenn Clark, Personal Financial Officer
  1. Start saving for retirement with an IRA. –Tessa Wacker, Branch Manager
  1. You may think putting away $10 here and there will never add up but it does! Create special savings accounts for specific goals, like vacations or buying a home. –Sara Sauro, Branch Manager
  1. Open a college savings account on the day your kids are born. –Ross Smith, SVP/Operations
  1. I wish I had known how important credit is – I had no idea how much my credit score would affect my life. –Jessie Claycamp, Vault Teller
  1. Spend less and save more. –Cindy Campbell, AVP Retail Operations
  1. Follow the Rule of 72. Divide the interest rate into 72 and whatever the answer is will be how long it will take for your principal (starting sum) to double. –Jim Schepers, VP Human Resources
  1. Pay attention to your credit score. It could play a part in approving your apartment application and the amount of the deposit you may have to make. –Jenny Redmond, Teller Supervisor
  1. Never borrow or cosign for money unless you have every intention and ability to pay it back. Also, make sure you’re depositing funds into a savings account for the unexpected. If times get tough, stay in contact with your creditors. –Matt Langley, Collections Officer
  1. Start funding your 401K as soon as possible – you can take it with you no matter where you go. –Amanda Love, Branch Manager
  1. If your paycheck doesn’t cover your spending that means you don’t have the money. A credit card isn’t money; it’s debt. –Michael Taylor, Data Security Specialist
  1. Skip the daily coffee or soda and put that money into a savings account. Every time you accumulate $500, open a 60-month CD. –Norine Bailey, Personal Financial Officer
  1. It’s easier to build on zero, little or good credit than it is to repair bad credit. And bad credit will haunt you. –Jessie Kemble, Teller Supervisor
  1. I thought that I couldn’t save any money and had to live paycheck to paycheck, which isn’t the least bit true. Find a way to put away money – you’ll be grateful in the long run. –Margaret McDermott, SVP/Marketing
  1. Put more thought into planning for your retirement. The years go by quickly and your money will add up if you start early. –Debi Findley, Personal Financial Officer
  1. Make your payments on time. Those ‘little’ late fees add up and can take a big bite out of your finances. –Rachael Johnson, Collections Officer
  1. Have the money for your savings or 401k taken right out of your paycheck so you won’t see it or miss it. –Jackie Reehoff, Branch Manager
  1. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Prepare for the unexpected. –Karley Jeffrey, Real Estate Loan Representative
  1. Open only one – just ONE – major credit card and pay off balances as soon as possible. –Steph McDermott, AVP/Manager Call Center
  1. Life insurance is a necessity beyond what your job and loans offer. –Becca Varner, Personal Financial Officer
  1. Choose a career based on your passions, not on the projected salary. While money will make life a little easier, it will not necessarily make you happy. –Melinda Sirois, Call Center

MCU members, what advice do you wish you had taken when you were younger? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook and in the comment section below.