Old folks say that for us to succeed in life, we must be financially stable by the age of 30 or even before marrying. They even tell that at the age of 18 or 21, you must be out on your own and not living under your parents’ roof or you must have your own house as early as 22 years old and your own business as early as 21 years old, etc.
That did work for some with financially stable parents and with well-planned retirement but for majority of us, mostly in our generation right now, don’t. I believe that we all have our own timeline planned by God. We all have our own time and spotlight and all we can do to reach to that point is either work hard for it or just be consistent.
I just turned 23 last Friday and I thought to myself, “Have I established something yet that I could benefit in the future?” I realized, I had established a few things already but I still lack majority of the latter. Thinking of these, I came up with things that I’ve been able to achieve and might as well share it to help those young professionals just like me who have just been starting with this adulting thing.
Open a savings account
Opening a savings account as early as you can will really mold you into something but being consistent in your savings is something else. I know, it’s a real struggle to save than to spend and I admit that even now, I am still struggling. I have opened a savings account as early as 16 years old under a student saving program and though the account was still under my parent’s name, I was able to save and use it during emergency situations. Sad to say, I wasn’t able to save consistently and ended up freezing the account but not permanently closing it. Now that I’ve learned my lesson, to never open a savings account with a debit card, I opened a passbook account instead to secure the money and never get tempted again whenever there’s a flash sale. I always make sure to save first at least 40% of my salary before spending the 60% on bills and necessities. Saving is not easy but with right discipline, we can achieve that 6 digit. (but I, too, haven’t yet)
Start investing your money
Investing your money as early as you can could double or triple your income but it always come with a precaution because there are lots of investing schemes that could be too risky to invest in especially with this pandemic situation we have right now. The economy has been critically low when the world was forced to shutdown business, close borders, stay at home and stop all activities. I’m not really a pro when it comes to investing and to where should you invest the best but I watched a video from a financial adviser that before you invest your money into something, you must have obtained an emergency fund that could last you for 6 months to a year which would base on your monthly income and expenses. If you are to invest a big amount of money, you should be really ready for the consequences or pros and cons of investing your money either on trading, stocks, or setting up a business.
Purchase an insurance
Insurance in other words is the definition of security and peace of mind. When we have insurance, it acts as a protection for your income, business, hospital bills, etc. which would depend on your insurance coverage. As soon as I got in a big company, the seniors advised us to get insurance right away as young as we can because age matters when you get a life insurance. They consider your health factor and risks that’s why they always say that the younger you are, the cheaper the insurance would be and vice versa. So I got myself an insurance after a year of being employed, it is a protection, health and investment plan so I think it’s one of the best decisions I made this 2020. Don’t wait to get old and look for cheaper insurance because there won’t be any so start looking now and get it right away.
Stock-up on herbal oils
As a child, we think that being an adult is awesome but it isn’t. It sucks. The pressure, the headaches, back pains, is part of being an adult. We might be young now but the backpain, it hurts like we are 60 years old already. Hands up to those who can relate. Haha. Kidding aside, I am serious to start stocking up herbal oils, may it be a heating or cooling oil, because you will really use it when you start to work an 8-5 shift, 5 to 6 days a week for the rest of your life. It could really help ease the tiredness and stress you had for the day. I guarantee that, but still depending of what kind of oil you’ll use. The important thing here is the massage also matters. I have not realized this until I started looking for massage oils when I do my groceries. It made a big impact in my life that I already belong to the “tita’s club.”
As early as now, we must practice self-care such as good hygiene, healthy lifestyle, and dedicating a day just for chilling and pampering. It doesn’t just apply to women but to men as well. We will all need this especially with the toxicity brought to us by social media or just mainly stress from work, life, etc. Self care could be just listening to music, reading your favorite book, watching tv shows and movies, cleaning, cooking, making crafts, playing games, pampering your skin, checking out your online carts, doing groceries or just plainly drinking a beverage in a quiet but relaxing view. Self care shouldn’t be that expensive unless spending huge amounts of money relaxes you. In our generation right now, self care is a must especially for young professionals like me that experiences toxicity at work, chaos at home, pressure at achievements and belongs to the sandwich generation. We must start practicing it, dedicate a day plainly just for self care and add it slowly in our daily routine and habits and it will really make a difference in the future.
Use sunblock always
The environment is not getting better. The longer we stay here, the more it gets polluted and because of the carbon footprints that we leave in every generation, these are causing an adverse effect in our climate and weather conditions. We are thinning out the earth’s ozone layer that protects us from the harsh UV rays of the sun by our daily routines in life. These harmful UV rays can cause skin diseases and even cancer if not treated immediately. Aside from tanning and sunburn, UV rays could also fasten the aging of your skin and the production of wrinkles resulting in dry and rough texture. As a young professional, living in a tropical country, I intend to wear sunblock with SPF 50+ PA++++ every time I go out. I have watched and seen real results from people that used sunblock during their young age. Their skin slowed down in maturing and they have better complexion even at the age of 40 or 50. I have not realized this until I turned 22 and noticed that my skin is getting drier and mature. So don’t wait until you’re 30 to start using it. It’s better to prevent aging earlier.
Be a minimalist
At a young age, we thought that being an adult is about earning money and spending it on things that you really wanted to buy. In reality, it isn’t. You won’t even get to spend money for your own hobbies and interests unless you come from a rich family or you have a big salary rate for an entry level job. In my case, which I thought would be the case of the majority too, my salary is limited and budgeted. I have made a priority list and most of the time, wants comes last in the list. We should always prioritize the needs first before purchasing anything else. There would be even times, a lot of times, that nothing’s left on my salary to even buy my basic necessities. The truth here in my country is that the salary rates of an entry level job can’t cover up the expenses we had to undergo just to be qualified for the actual job itself but we don’t have any choice but to suffer. That’s why living with a very limited income resource is a struggle and I, myself, learned it through a year of working in a company. I learned how to minimize things, differentiate the essentials, know that quality wins over quantity, be content on what I have right now. Being a minimalist doesn’t mean to eat cheap food, compromise your way of living or being overly contented and not strive anymore to reach the aim but it is about reducing expenses by differentiating the things that we really need, knowing the priorities, and purchasing what really just sparks joy.
In the end, it still lies in our willingness to discipline ourselves for the benefit of our future. Some might be doing it the freestyle way or just going with the flow of life but for people like me that came from a not so wealthy family, I will always start from scratch and moving on from one phase to another will never be easy.
If you are born with a readily inserted silver spoon on your mouth that all you have to do is maintain your lifestyle, be consistent on your business and inherit your families wealth, you are a very lucky person. I don’t envy people who are born with everything already and we shouldn’t blame them for being rich and us being poor. They have their own story on how they made it and sadly for us, we are still in the making of our own success stories.
But don’t be weary, we can, all, go through this. With hard work, dedication, and consistency, I claim it, that we, too, could be successful just like them. Life is short as what they say but we have a long way ahead of us. We could start doing these things as early as we graduate from college or even if you’re already beyond the twenties. Of course, this post isn’t just limited for young professionals because we all have our own timeline. Maybe you got your first job at 26 and still starting your way out so here’s some helpful tips to guide you and let you focus on your long-term goal because who would want to do office work with a demanding boss for the rest of their lives, right? Even I, don’t.