When it comes to financial decisions, we all at some point make mistakes during our teens and early twenties. In a way, it’s all part of growing up. Many would also argue it’s better to make those faux pas when you’re young than to stray off course later. The same can rarely be said for anyone past the age of 25 or so. By then, there’s a general consensus that you should have messed up enough to keep your feet on the ground. Of course, some mistakes don’t stay in your younger years. Some unfortunately follow you, even in later life.
Teens and money are two words you won’t hear together often. Thanks to their inability to look to the future, the majority of teens and younger millennials are terrible at money management. Again, that may not be a big deal. Most teenagers don’t even have access to enough money to do real damage. As such, this serves as yet another crucial life lesson. Some youngsters, however, get themselves in very bad money messes. And, that isn’t so easy to get rid of. Those who take out loans or come into big money may find themselves suffering for it later.
If this applies to you, know that you’re not alone. You’re by no means the first youngster to make stupid mistakes with money. You certainly won’t be the last. The sad news is, there’s no laser machine to get rid of marks in your financial past. But, that’s not to say you can’t fix the damage. Instead of turning to a quick fix though, you have to face up to your past mistakes before you can move forward. And, the only way to do that is to consider doing the following.
Clear your debts
Debts are the worst financial burden to bring forward. Yet, with no sense of money management, many fall foul here by the time they hit their twenties and thirties. The first thing to note is that this black mark doesn’t need to stay with you. Hopefully, your past mistakes will have already taught you about money management. The moment you get that big boy or girl job and now have money in your account, start your journey to debt freedom. With a bit of luck, your salary could be enough to manage the debt. If not, work with each company/person and arrange repayments after every payday. Your goal should be to clear your debt as soon as possible so that you can look forwards instead of back.
Repair your credit rating
Your debts don’t come alone. If you get into debt when you’re young and unable to repay, there’s a good chance you’ll do real damage to your credit rating. Leaving debts unpaid for years could put you in real danger of things never improving. But, the moment you start looking to turn this around, you may find that you come against all kinds of obstacles. The trouble is, bad credit can be a vicious cycle. My experience in banking taught me that too many people jump to credit repairing options too fast. Do some homework to find the best, safest option for you first. But if all fail, people refer to solutions like this site. I prefer reaching out to your bank. When they see that you have a regular income, they may be able to provide some form of payment plan solution. It’s then essential that you don’t mess up.
Rebuild your savings
With past mistakes taken care of or being dealt with, it’s time to be smarter with your money. If you blew all your savings during your younger years, you need to restock that pot. Even if you never had savings to start with, it’s past time you put your focus here. Admittedly, getting into the savings habit is intentional and takes work. But, by making sure you set aside money aside each month, this will become a standard affair. The best thing to do is to establish a savings account and make it difficult for yourself to access it. Before long, you should be back to the savings you need.