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What Money Advice Would You Give the 18 Year Old You?

June 21, 2021 3 min read


The Money Bag Newsletter by Financial Footwork


What Money Advice Would You Give the 18 Year Old You?

 Money advice is everywhere, however good money advice can sometimes be a little harder to find. One of the best ways to learn is to look back on our own past experiences.

Using the idea of reflecting on what you already know, look back on your financial life and think about the following questions. What have you done financially that you are proud of? Are there things you would change or do differently? Have you had any financial failures? 

We love asking our clients think about this idea and then answer the following question:
What would you tell your 18-year old self about money?

Here are some of the responses we’ve had.

“I would start building credit at 18 with a small credit card.”

Coach Hill’s Tip: If you are new to credit or need to start building it, 18 is the perfect age. Credit takes time to establish, the sooner you start, the better! Pick one thing a month to pay for using your credit card, then pay it off in full. Consistently do this EVERY SINGLE MONTH, and you will see your credit score start to rise.

Credit takes time to build, patient and consistent in your usage. If you don’t use it, you are not helping your score. 

“I would have opened an investment account right out of college, putting $100 a month in that account would have been a game changer for me later in life.

Coach Hill’s Tip: Compound Interest! It is a beautiful thing. Depending on your ability to save and how you are choosing to save, the earlier you begin the investing process and the more you contribute to your accounts monthly, the more your money can compound. Compound interest relies on TIME in order to work.

If you start at 22-25, you are much further ahead of someone who starts investing at 35 for the same amount of money, even if they contribute a bit more monthly you’re ahead of the game with the pot you’ve already accumulated.  Check out our blog for more information on compound interest.


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“Truthfully, I could have saved a lot more money on a weekly basis by cooking a few meals at home.”

Coach Hill’s Tip: Going out to eat can make a serious dent in your pocket book. Do the math on how much a meal out costs you then multiply that by the numbers of times a month you are going out to eat. 

For example: your dinner out costs $20, you go out once a week for a month. That is $80 for 4 means. Look at the average grocery store trip and how many meals you can get out of the $80 at the grocery store. That will help you determine where you can save money and how much eating out is truly costing you. 

“No new car! I would not have purchased a NEW car, I didn’t realize how much the car payment would impact my monthly budget.”

Coach Hill’s Tip: A new car can be such a great feeling! However, it can really stretch your budget and your savings goals. When you are looking at buying a car, start by determining what a comfortable monthly payment would be. Then back into the loan amount you can borrow based on what works for your budget. Make your car work for your budget, not the other way around.

The examples provided are just a few of the MANY things our clients have told us over the years. By reflecting on what you’ve already gone through in life, you have a starting point for skilling up your financial game. 

Comment below and tell us what you would tell your 18 year-old self about money.

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