Learning about budgeting and saving money in high school

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by edisch

I graduated high school a little less than two years ago and have managed to save a comfortable amount towards my financial goals following a few principles:

  • Do everything you can to get the most out of your time at work
    • frequently consult with your employer about what they would like to see from you
    • set goals to improve yourself in your career whether flipping burgers or writing code
  • Find an investment strategy that you are comfortable with
    • consider whether you are looking for high or low risk investment (I go with high risk since I’ve got a long time to make back any losses and my investments don’t make up a huge portion of my savings ~ 50%)
    • look into brokerages without fees (Robinhood is great if you have a US passport)
    • remain skeptical when considering crypto investments (popular with our generation but very high risk)
  • Optimize banking and financial accounts
    • find a credit card you can start putting large (PAYABLE) purchases on to build credit
    • look into spending tracking apps (Empower is great and has a free tier) which can help set budgets for different categories of expenses and automatically categorizes purchases on your debit / credit card. It separates food, rent, entertainment, subscriptions, fees, etc. and helps keep track of where you over and under spend.
    • if you travel a lot, find a credit card with low or no international transaction fees
    • if you find you are often paying unnecessary transaction fees, figure out ways to reduce or get rid of them
  • Save in the practical everyday expenses
    • drive less, walk or cycle when practical
    • avoid take away or eating out (save it for social events) instead consider staying in (cooking can be awesome)
    • if you are paying rent or looking to move out, find a shared living space (Craigslist, etc.)
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