How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?

R.G.Camara

Kingfisher
Let me start off by saying I am aware everyone at some point in our lives struggles with money, this is not about going broke so much as it is thinking I'll always be liquid poor. Even then, my definition of "liquid poor" might be skewed, since apparently most Americans can't cover a $500 emergency.


I keep hearing day after day that the US economy is at a standstill despite growing short-term markets, that similar to China we're in a different kind of bubble where the old will not retire and the transferable wealth that might have been obtained through an earlier end to life will go away due to end of life care and people getting older. It pretty much looks like doom and gloom, from where I'm standing.


As a person about to graduate college, although my family supports my undergrad studies (which I am eternally grateful for), I have this nagging feeling that no amount of money will ever be enough to make my life stable in this country. Maybe it's because I haven't graduated yet and have never drawn a salaried job, all my work has been hourly, but my thought process is right now I have to save up all my money (realistically I'm looking at 80% saved per paycheck) for rent when I graduate, or for seed money to spend when abroad.


Is there anything I can do to stop worrying about these things? Not like I shouldn't be concerned about my financial wellbeing; making sure I have enough saved up, that my paycheque covers everything and that I enjoy myself is important, however I feel I put too much importance into it. For instance, in my head I feel like 20k would be an ideal starting point for my savings to finally feel "comfortable", but no matter how much I've worked since 18, had I saved up every penny I'd likely only be shy of 7k at this point.


I feel like growing up during the Great Recession really impacted my view of money. My family nearly lost everything, and not because our house went underwater. I rarely eat out to treat myself, I haven't gone on a vacation in years and feel slightly guilty at the prospect, haven't fixed my computer outside of putting in a donated graphics card. Meanwhile I have friends who despite having less than $400 to their name will gladly drop $100 at a club or bar for one night. I knew a guy who when his parents lent him money, he spent 80% of it in 24 hours.

Is this type of thing something I should even be worried about at my age?
1. We no longer have debtor's prisons in this country; so long as you are honestly trying to pay a bill but don't have the means, you cannot go to jail. No matter what a debt collector threatens you with, no one---not the debt collector, not the police, not the feds---as the legal right to arrest you for unpaid debts.

2. Bankruptcy courts exist instead. If you ever got so bad, you could declare bankruptcy. And the Bankruptcy Court protects you afterwards from any creditor harassing you.

3. Creditors harass when someone isn't in bankruptcy, but merely telling them to stop or ignoring them is enough. Even student loan guys.

4. The only people you can't ignore are the IRS and state tax officials. But they offer payment plans.

5. Make sure food, medicine, and a roof over your head are taken care of first, then go to the other debts.

6. Prayer makes you realize how useless all material goods are anyway.
 

datdude84

Pigeon
When I was coming out of college (15 years ago... damn) I asked my older brother what I needed to be thinking about to set myself up financially. He sent me the steps from Dave Ramsey and it is the foundation I used to now amass close to 7 figures in total net worth. There will be other things to learn as you start investing, but these items should be taken care of first. I will copy and paste what he sent me. Once you finish step 1, move on to step 2, and so on...

Step 1: Save an emergency fund of $1000. Put into a saving account and use for emergency purposes only (not beer, clothes, dates, etc.)

Step 2: Pay off all debts except for mortgages (which you probably won't have yet). Debts include car payments, credit cards, student loans, etc.

Step 3: Figure out what 3-6 months of your expenses total and save that amount in an easy access money market account/savings account

Step 4: Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRA & pre-tax retirement. This can be stocks, mutual funds, bonds, etc. depending on what the company offers.

Step 5: Save for college funding for children or self.

Step 6: Pay off mortgage early. This one is debatable depending on how you're using the house, but generally speaking, no debt = good.

Step 7: Build wealth and give. You can invest in real estate, stocks, mutual funds, ets. Also, recommend giving 5-10% of household income. Experience tells me you get it back and plus.

Also it helps to set pretty specific financial goals. E.g. Purchase of a home w/ 20% downpayment in 5 years.

Have a thorough understanding of your income vs expenditures in other words your budget. We live in a seriously materialistic and overcomsumption society, so this is all against what the media, our friends/family, etc. tells us but can be done. Find the balance between what you want and what you need. Find a budget sheet online to help you map out where your money goes. Of course this will not happen over night. If you complete these steps you will be well on your way to becoming a self-sustaining and independent man. It is sometimes hard to define what it means to become a "man" in our society but I definitely think fiscal and personal responsibility is the standard. I personally believe we have a lot of irresponsible people in this country living beyond their means who never reach full maturity and continue to be reliant on others.

Good luck!
 

The Beast1

Peacock
Gold Member
The best thing you can do to prepare a nest egg for your future children is life insurance. Whether 1 million is enough may be debatable but at the very least you can protect your children if you need to.

Sadly the boomers are the weak men which will make hard times. Thankfully the hard times will happen with boomers still at the helm so they will bare the fruit of their transgressions.
 
Live below your means.

Stop going out to eat. Cook at home. Stop buying alcohol, brew your own wine. Bake your own bread. Drive a $5000 car you paid in cash. Change your oil. Get a roommate. Leave the city.
 
get rrrriiichhh, do it like elon musk and just get to the paper so you have some cushion. if you want to make money then study up, go to school and work hard. school and work are somewhat similar and if you do well in university you can find a good job with high earning power. invest in stocks, long term stocks, put in a decent amount now and watch it return, something reliable, real estate is a great way to make money as well. learn to code, learn to cook, exercise and eat healthy. lots of fish and lean proteins, rice. spend a lot of time reading and writing working on your communication skills, work on your math skills. always be striving to get better and improve and never settle until you have what you want, you gotta have drive and you gotta believe.
 
Live below your means.

Stop going out to eat. Cook at home. Stop buying alcohol, brew your own wine. Bake your own bread. Drive a $5000 car you paid in cash. Change your oil. Get a roommate. Leave the city.

Absolutely this. And if you can find a way to boost your income while also living modestly, your only monetary worry will be how to invest or utilize all of the excess.
 
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