To San and Vy,
I know both of you do not like to talk about money. After all you are usually busy or have better things to do - Vy with your internship and thesis and San with your part time job and rotation. This is why I write this post so at least you have some place to read about it when you have the time. And I promise I will keep this short and easy to understand. After all, we do have to talk about this and it is better to do it now than later.
Upon working for a while, you may start noticing that your bank account is going up. YOU HAVE SOME MONEY. You may start wondering what you can do with that money. You may think about spending that money on a fancy meal, a pair of new shoes, or that beautiful dress that you had your eyes on for a while. You may have already spent a bit of your money on the things mentioned already. But then, growing up you are taught to be frugal and never spend all the money that you have so you want to save them. This is where I want to come in and offer some help.
Here are the first few INITIAL steps that you can do (There will be more):
- If you have not done it already, start setting up a budget and keep track of you expense and income. In order to know how much you can save, you need to know how much you are earning and spending. @San, Vy made one for you here
- After you know how much you spend for a month, start saving up for an emergency fund (ideally 3 to 6 months of your monthly expense). This will be your safety net in case some emergency happens. This money will also be the foundation to show that you can save money and live below your mean.
- If you have very high interest debt, start paying them. @San, you can think about paying for your tuition bit by bit now (depending on the interest, which I figure is high)
Here are some other next steps after the first 3 above:
- Put your emergency fund into a high yield saving account to earn interest. (I can show you how to do this).
- Start learning more about 401K, Traditional/Roth IRA (I will put up another post to go into details about this. For now, you can ignore)
You can also take a look at this flowchart and check out reddit’s personalfinance wiki to find out more about all things personal finance.
Why you need to do all this stuff? The answer is simple. This is to help you get started on being financially responsible and eventually finanical independent. You may wonder what the heck is financial independence. I promise it will be very fun to know about this and not boring at all even though it also revolves around money a bit. For now, enough money talk for the day. See it is not too long!