If you haven’t gotten your hands on a copy of Rich Bitch by Nicole Lapin, stop reading this article. Get on your phone and download the book or listen to it on audible. I absolutely love this book. It was released in 2015, but I didn’t get around to listening to it on audible until September of 2016. You do not need to waste any time on this.
Her book is real, informal and very catching. She offers you advice on all finance topics so that you can live a “rich” life. No you don’t have to be rich to live a rich life. That is why her book is so amazing.
Although, this article doesn’t even cover half of the lessons I learned from listening to her audiobook at least four times now, here is what I wish I knew when I turned twenty.
Lesson 1: Do you have a car that you own outright, but it is very old and needs a few repairs? I did when I was nineteen. What did I do with my old 2001 Chevy Cavalier? I trade her in for a truck that cost me $390 a month. I don’t even have that truck today. I would have saved $390 a month for three years if I just paid for the repairs on my car that I didn’t have to pay money for. Instant face palm.
Lesson 2: When did you learn to budget? I have been budgeting off and on since I was sixteen. What I wish I knew back then was to budget better. In Rich Bitch, Nicole talks about the percentages of your income and how much you should spend on certain things. I would definitely skipped the $390 truck payment and put that money towards savings or my end game….If I had an end game. *See lesson 4.
Lesson 3: Develop good credit history. When I turned eighteen I applied at Best Buy to finance my first laptop. I got denied. I then reapplied with my mother in laws name as a joint applicant, I was denied again. What I didn’t know was that each time you apply for credit, that affects your credit score. I am fully aware of this now, of course, but back then I wouldn’t have applied. Since I didn’t have any credit at all I would have signed up for a secure credit card that allowed me to get my deposit back after so many on time payments. You need good credit to purchase auto loans and get a mortgage. The better your credit, the better rates you will receive and will help save you money in the end.
Lesson 4: Create goals and actually see them through. I had things I wanted to accomplish, but I didn’t necessarily think it through on how to accomplish them. It was mainly all talk. “I am going to build a house next to my grandparents and I will do this a little at a time.” This never happened. “I am going to graduate college.” That never happened. I’m not sad about not getting my college degree considering I am pretty successful in my career, but that house next to my grandparents I wouldn’t mind living by them today.
Write your goals down and then write steps that you must take to reach those goals. Keep it some place that you will see if everyday as a reminder of what you need to do. You can read more in my post Set Yourself Up for Success.
Lesson 5: Make a career plan. Most twenty year olds do not think about this and that is perfectly fine, but when you sit and think about what it is you want to do for the rest of your life to live, that can be an eye opener. I wish I made a career plan. I was working in the billing department of a very big doctors office. It wasn’t a bad situation and I was compensated well for someone my age and without a college degree, but I never thought about where I wanted to be in five or even ten years. At that time, I am my first son and was more excited that I could somewhat afford to take care of him.
When making a career plan, think about where you are now and what you do with your career needs to be a step towards your goal. (Just like creating goals). Where do you see yourself in one, three, and five years? What about ten years? What do you need to do to get there?