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    Financial Tips for my 20-Something Year Old Self - Tip #2: Credit Cards are NOT Free Money!

    Ok, this might be a tip more for my 18-year-old self, but the lesson followed me into my 20’s. “YOLO” and “FOMO” weren’t actual acronyms when I was in college, but I sure lived by those mantras, “You Only Live Once” and “Fear Of Missing Out.” When asked if I wanted to go shopping… Heck yeah! When asked if I wanted to go out for dinner…You betcha! When asked if I wanted to take a trip to NYC…DUH! All of these “Yes” answers led me to over-extending myself and spending money I didn’t have. The $500 worth of parking tickets I racked up in NYC certainly didn’t help! I maxed out a credit card in a span of 6 months and spent the next 4 years paying it off.

    Financial Tips for My 20-Something Year Old Self - Tip #1: Save Early

    Picture this, circa 2005 I’m 22-years old fresh out of college with the world ahead of me! I haven’t landed my dream job yet, but I’m working full-time as an assistant manager in a retail store and making okay money. I know this isn’t where I plan to end up, but it will do for now. STOP! Right then and there I wish I hadn’t just looked at that as a job to make money and get by. I was making enough to be saving, but I had a “spend what you make” mentality.

    Disability Insurance

    We’ve already established that your most valuable asset isn’t your house, car, or retirement account; it’s YOU and your ability to earn income. That is why it’s so important to protect that asset with disability insurance.

    According to the Social Security Administration, the chance of becoming disabled before you retire is 1 in 4 - and for most people, disability will result in a lower living standard due to the loss of income. Having a disability insurance policy can replace lost earnings.

    Deductibles vs Premiums

    One of the biggest factors in choosing insurance, whether it’s auto, homeowners, or health insurance, is the cost. But the cost isn’t just the monthly premium you’re paying; it’s the entire out-of-pocket cost you will pay if you have a claim.

    It’s easy to select the least expensive premium plan because so many of us have the “it could probably never happen to me” mentality and paying less on a monthly basis is much more appealing. But consider why you’re buying insurance in the first place…or the peace of mind of knowing that even though it “probably” couldn’t happen, there’s a chance it will and you want to be covered.

    Protecting Yourself with Insurance

    When it comes to insurance, we’re used to insuring our cars and homes and other important tangible assets that we may not be able to afford to replace easily. But nothing is more important than your life and ability to earn a living. YOU are the greatest asset that you need to protect.