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As an 18-year-old, you’re no doubt embarking on a new chapter in your life.
You’re taking steps towards independence, but are you also preparing for the future and doing all that you can to secure financial well-being?
Whether it’s dealing with student debt or tackling money management head-on, this is certainly something worth considering.
We’ll discuss 13 hacks that every 18-year-old should know about mastering money, including budgeting ideas, finding ways to make extra cash, and investments that could help you build wealth.
All of these tips will give you a great starting point as well as provide insight into the world of finance, so if you want to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to personal finances, now’s your chance!
Table of Contents
#1. Education and Financial Acuity
Another user advised that educating oneself for future income prospects and financial insight is important.
They advised 18-year-olds to take advantage of free or low-cost educational opportunities like community college or online courses.
#2. Keep Tabs on Your Net Worth: A Financially Sound Practice
Another person chimed in with another good recommendation. They emphasized the importance of frequently keeping tabs on one’s net worth, as it offers a clear lens into financial advancement.
They recommended using a spreadsheet or financial management tool like Quicken to update all accounts, including loans, regularly.
#3. Mastering the Art of Saying “No” to Financial Pressure
One person imparted a pearl of wisdom, emphasizing the importance of mastering the art of saying “No” regarding finances.
It means staying within your budget and not overspending, whether in business dealings or social situations with friends. It’s important to prioritize your financial well-being and not let peer pressure lead you astray.
By sticking to your budget, you’ll be one step closer to achieving financial freedom.
#4. Hustle Every Day: A Valuable Lesson
Another user reminded others about the age-old adage that there are no free lunches in life and highlighted the importance of daily hustling to achieve one’s goals.
They advised against spending money on things that didn’t matter and suggested putting money away instead.
The user also noted that small accumulations of money, such as 401k contributions, will have the most significant impact in the long run, as opposed to spending money on daily luxuries like Starbucks coffee.
#5. Invest Early: The Smart Move
Another person suggested that at 18, stashing away funds for a down payment is wise. Depending on the area, this can be in the form of a condo or a small house.
Investing in a property early on can serve as a springboard for purchasing a more significant property when one is ready to settle down and start a family.
#6. Not Creating an Opportunity Fund
You’ve heard of an emergency fund, but what about an opportunity fund?
This is a savings account that you use when opportunity comes knocking.
Think of all the times you’ve been presented with something you would love to do, but don’t have the cash.
Maybe a friend invited you on an amazing vacation.
Or maybe your dream house just hit the market.
Or maybe you realize you would love to work in another field but the pay is less.
If you have an opportunity fund, you could afford to take advantage of these things.
#7. Upskilling and Exploring Different Career Trajectories for Financial Success
A knowledgeable user gave some valuable advice, urging young individuals to remain open-minded to exploring different career trajectories.
Instead of trying to spend less incrementally, it is much easier to save more by making more. It may involve investing in education, training, or certification programs to enhance their skills and make them more marketable to employers.
#8. Secured Credit Cards: Establishing Credit History at 18
Someone else proposed the novel idea of obtaining a secured credit card as soon as one hits 18, which will help establish a credit history.
They explained that with a secured credit card, one gives the credit card company a certain amount of money to start their credit line, and as long as the card is paid back in full by the closing date, the money will be returned.
#9. Finding Balance: A Key to Sustainable Financial Health for 18-Year-Olds
In a moment of introspection, an individual highlighted the importance of striking a fine balance between frugality and splurging to evade the inevitable burnout.
They believe that denying oneself too much at a young age may not be sustainable in the long run. Instead, they suggest finding a balance and making smart choices that will help set oneself up for success in the future.
#10. Living Within Your Means: Tips for Financially Savvy 18-Year-Olds
Another user shared that at 18, it’s important to embrace living within your means and not feel pressured to impress others with expensive things. They advised against spending all your money on alcohol or smoking and instead suggested opting for cheaper dates and thrift store clothing.
The user also emphasized the benefits of living with other responsible yet financially-conscious roommates to save money.
#11. Not Investing in Yourself
Most people think that the path to riches is getting a hot stock tip or winning the lottery.
But the reality is that most wealth comes from yourself.
That is, your lifetime earnings.
The more money you earn, the more you can save and invest.
So the best use of your money is to work on improving yourself and the skills you bring to the table so you can earn promotions and earn more money.
#12. Learn to Network
It might sound silly to go out an make connections with people, but you never know what those connections might turn into down the road.
They could be a new job that pays more, or a referral when you need important health care.
Make it a point to connect with as many people as you can.
#13. Budgeting: The Key to Avoiding Debt at 18
One user underscored that the key to sidestepping the clutches of debt at 18 is to hone the art of budgeting.
They suggested that it is important to know exactly where all the money needs to go and where it is going.
Doing so will help individuals stay on top of their finances and avoid getting into credit card debt.
How to Move Out With No Money
Are you looking to change your situation and move but you don’t have any money?
Or worse, do you also not have a job? You might think your goal is hopeless, but it’s not. Here are the steps you need to take.
Steps To Building Wealth
We all want to have enough money that our finances are no longer a stress in our lives.
But with so much financial advice out there, building wealth seems impossible. Not any more. Here are the simple steps you need to take.
Good Money Habits To Have
In order to get ahead financially, we need to develop good habits. Most people talk about bad money habits to get rid of.
Here are good money habits you need to follow if you want to take the next step financially.
How To Save Money When You’re Broke
When you have no money, the idea of saving sounds impossible. In fact, for many people, the idea never crosses their mind because they are only focused on getting money to survive.
But there are steps you can take to actually save money even when you are broke. Doing so will help you change your financial life faster than you thought possible.
Growing up is part of life. Sadly, most schools don’t teach personal finance, so adulting when it comes to money can be complicated.
Luckily, here is a guide to adulting so you can more easily figure things out, without making major mistakes.
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I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
Visit my About Me page to learn more about me and why I am your trusted personal finance expert.