I very recently (well, a little over a month ago) turned 25. Saying that number out loud, when people ask my age, feels surreal — it’s the oldest I’ve ever been (duh), and thanks to the kind-of-arbitrary cultural emphasis we place on certain numbers, it feels like being a quarter of a century old should make me feel more put together than it does. Spoiler alert: no age is going to make you feel more adult, just because you get to say a certain number out loud.
I think about the adults I looked up to as a kid, and can’t imagine being in their spots at my age. I had aunts and uncles who were already married, owned houses, had a kid by 25, while I still live with roommates in an inexpensive part of town, nowhere near financially or emotionally ready to be responsible for other humans’ lives and livelihoods. Growing up, I never really had a realistic idea of what my life would look like — I figured that at some point, you just flipped a switch and turned into an adult, complete with a house, a savings account, and a cable subscription (oh how I miss you, On Demand).
But that’s, of course, not what happens. I loved reading J. Money‘s sixth pick this week, in which the author asked other personal finance bloggers about what their financial and career lives looked like at 23. I love hearing about different experiences people have had in their early twenties, both because it can help me feel better about my own situation, and because it truly shows that there’s no one path you’re “supposed” to be following. I turned 23 my first year after college; I didn’t put myself in dangerous debt or anything, but it would still take me a year or two before I truly started learning how to save money. It was also the year I started timidly taking a look at my own finances (and started reading TFD!), and how I could start improving my life.
Because just as J. Money himself says in that article, if you’re in your early-to-mid-twenties and you’re reading this right now, you’re already ahead of the game. You’re actively looking to get control of your money situation, and that right there is half the battle — you’re going to be fine. And if you’re looking for more inspiration and ideas for your next money move, well, keep reading!
1. I Wanted to Retire More – ThinkSaveRetire
“Want to retire in your 30s? Cool! Here’s how I did it.”
2. Have Fun Pissing Your Money Away! – Rethinking The Dream
“Something the rent haters typically overlook is the Time aspect. Most are so focused on money that they completely overlook the other differences.”
3. The Briefcase Technique of Selling Yourself – I Will Teach You To Be Rich
“Yes, skills matter. But arguably, what matters more — especially when we’re talking about making money — is the ability to sell ourselves…The secret is show, don’t tell.”
4. Small Budget, Big Impact – Montana Money Adventures
“It’s amazing when someone shows up. At the right time. With the right gift. To meet the exact need that seems so pressing in that moment.”
5. Invest Now Even If You Don’t Know What to Invest In – TJ Pridonoff
“You want to know what was more important than any of the trades I made over the past six years in my Roth account? The high savings rate which allowed me to max it out every year.”
6. Where Were You at 23? – Four Pillar Freedom
“I was curious to see where other bloggers were at financially, as well as if financial independence was even on their mind at this age or not. Here are the responses I received.”
7. In Celebration of Spending and Financial Idiocy – Two Cents Together
“Being financially responsible is hard. It’s even harder if you don’t have a reason why you’re saving — like a house down payment, a vacation, or even more vague, for that far-off future you living it up in retirement.”
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