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Money Matters: Kickstart your finances in your twenties with FIVE pro tips

These five tips will help you get set-up for your financial future while you navigate your turbulent twenties.


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Your 20’s are a strange time – you’re just starting off in this weird and wonderful world, trying to find your own way without the safety net you enjoyed as a kid, with a plethora of difficult decisions to make along the way. Your financial success is likely to be turbulent, but Gareth Collier from Crue Invest (Pty) Ltd has a a few tips to help you along your way. 

Here are five top tips from Collier, as detailed in Money Web last month: 

1. Set up a budget – ASAP

Collier said that getting an early start on organising your budget will help you adapt when things start to change a little further down the line. 

“Remember, while you are young, single, and your finances are relatively uncomplicated, budgeting will be a fairly simple exercise. As your personal circumstances change and become more complex, so too will your budget. Our advice is therefore to start your budgeting journey sooner rather than later to ensure that you are well-equipped for times when your finances require a more complex budgeting system.”

2. Never too soon to start investing

It’s never too early to invest towards your future, Collier writes: 

“Most twenty-somethings are far too young to contemplate retirement, so consider removing the word ‘retirement’ from your vocabulary,” he said. 

He suggested that motivation for investing may come from dropping the word ‘retirement’ from your vocabulary and replacing it with ‘financial freedom’, and then spend time determining what financial freedom means for you personally.

3. Emergency financial funds

Collier suggested that given how quickly life can throw spanners in the works, it’s critical that you start to build up a solid reserve of funds for when things get hairy. 

“Take stock of your personal circumstances, your earnings and your expenditure, and then determine a level of emergency funding that you would be comfortable with.”

According to Collier, really doesn’t matter where you choose to house your emergency cash, “although our advice is to keep it in a separate account that is specifically designated for these purposes,” he said. 

4. Build a good credit history

Credit history is critical to your ability to obtain financing later on in life,  and it therefore absolutely essential that you start building a good credit history in your twenties, Collier said. 

“Being able to obtain vehicle and property financing will depend on your credit score, so be very cautious when buying anything on credit.”

“Any late payment or default will impact negatively on your score so, if you do have credit, be religious about making your repayments in full and on time, every time.”

5. Cash is king

Finally, Collier recommended that whenever possible, remember the age-old mantra – “cash is king”. 

“Purchasing goods, especially high-cost items, with cash is not always achievable especially if you have just started out your career and your earnings are low relative to your earning potential,” he said. 

“However, when it comes to funding your living costs, be sure that you are able to pay cash and that you do not need to incur debt in order to survive. Using debt to fund your month-to-month living expenses is not sustainable and will result in creating a debt spiral that is difficult to escape.”