Apply this SPF 15 protection to your money (for people in their 20s)

Good financial habits are like sunscreen – the earlier you begin to apply them the more you’ll thank yourself as you age. Toward that goal, here are 15 SPF (Sound and Practical Finance) Tips to make your life easier: If you have a 401(k) or other retirement plan option through your work, contribute the maximum each month, especially if your employer offers a matching contribution. Those employer matches are an important part of your benefit package so make sure you access them. Consider the magic of compound interest. If you invest wisely, any money you save will earn interest. As that pool of money grows, so does the amount it earns. For instance, if you save $3,000 a year annually from the age of 22 through 30 and you earn a respectable 6% on that money, you will have saved $34,761 in just those nine years. And, that’s where the magic begins. Because even if you never save another dime, that pool of money will continue to grow by earning 6% each year. If you don’t touch your original $34,761 and allow it to earn that 6%, you will have accumulated $267,175 by age 65. If you continue to save $3,000 each year between 30 and 65, and that money earns 6% annually, you could be a millionaire by the time you retire. Begin saving early, invest wisely and your 65-year-old self will be very, very happy with you. Develop the healthy habit of designing a reasonable budget for yourself and then sticking to it. There are plenty of apps that make this process less daunting than it used to be. But, you still have to look at the numbers. Sit down once a year and review your spending habits. Then, adjust your budget accordingly. Budgeting sounds restrictive, but if you commit to it, you’ll find you actually have more spending money than you did before you started paying attention…. | Read More »