“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” — Dr. Seuss
Are you aware of the golden (or hidden) laws of money that exist for all dudes in their 20s?
When you finish college you can become a better person, or you can just get wasted to celebrate like we all did. My graduation was fun. The after party was ten times better. I’ve been out of school since December 17, 2011, when I wrote my final exam. I’ve already learned more than I did in class. But that’s another topic for another day.
As you try to figure out what to do after college, I wanted to share some highly important and golden financial/general laws for dudes in their 20s.
Today’s article is not about graduation. It’s about the hidden rules that college just doesn’t teach us about in between the boring lectures and multiple choice exams. There are a few things that every dude in his 20s should know. I’m slowly learning from my own experiences and from others.
The 8 golden laws of money for dudes in their 20s are:
Law #1: Never spend more than you earn.
When I wrote about one remarkable financial secret for saving money in your 20s, I stressed the importance of living within your means. This means that your goal should be to spend less money than you have coming in.
I love to spoil myself. I enjoy traveling. I look forward to nights out with friends. I blow more money than I care to admit online. What I’m getting at is that I’m not here to preach about going out or having fun. I just want you to spend less money than you earn. If you save some money, you can spend the rest.
Figuring out how to fix your spending isn’t easy or sexy, but it’s a battle worth fighting in your 20s. This is the first challenge that you should tackle in life after college.
Law #2: Always meet your obligations.
I realize that things happen in life and sometimes it’s impossible to make that credit card payment or meet your buddy for lunch. I get it. You should strive to keep those times highly limited though. I strongly urge you meet all of your obligations.
If you say you’re going to do something, you better do it. I’m doing my best to become a reliable person. Slowly.
Obligations you should always fulfil include:
- Credit card bills you have to pay.
- Meetings you said you would attend.
- Promises you made to friends and even strangers.
Law #3: Always bring booze or something to the party.
Please bring drinks to a party if you plan on drinking. Do you know how embarrassing it looks to show up empty-handed? Do you know how frustrating it is for others when you don’t bring anything and end up drinking their alcohol?
Here’s a quick story on the topic of bringing something to a party…
I was at a good friend’s birthday party a few weeks ago and this one dude said something that blew my mind. I offered him a drink. He responded by insulting the quality of the alcohol at the party. Okay, fine. I asked him what he brought. He told me that he didn’t know he had to bring something.
So this guy had to nerve to show up empty handed to a party and to complain about what others were kind enough to bring. Maybe it’s just me, but in my culture you never want to show up without a gift. Let alone insult what others brought.
If you don’t drink that’s cool. Bring some food. Bring something. Don’t show up empty handed.
If you don’t have any money, well then work on that! Find a way to make money. Start freelancing now. Find creative ways to have fun without blowing money.
You can also explain to your friends that you don’t have money at the moment. Your true friends will understand. They’ll likely be ready to help you out. Just please don’t complain about the quality if you didn’t bring anything.
Law #4: Never blame the world for your problems.
We all have our own problems. I understand that it sucks when it feels like everyone is against you. It’s not the end of the world. You can work on your problems one day at a time. You’re in control of paying off your credit card bill.
I learned the hard way that it’s never okay to blame the world for your problems. When I started taking responsibility for my actions, I suddenly saw immediate results in my favor. I’m doing my best to hold myself accountable for everything I do in general and with my money.
“Everything’s not going to go perfect. You’re going to have some losses that you’re going to have to bounce back from and some things that are a little unforeseen that you’re going to have to deal with.” — Tom Dungy
Law #5: You should strive to take some risks with your money.
There are many risks you should take after college. You shouldn’t be afraid of taking a few chances.
I took risks in my 20s by buying a condo as a rental property, taking online courses, spending hours on writing eBooks, and going on trips all by myself.
What risk will you take in your life after college?
Oh and by taking risks I hope you avoid betting against Anderson Silva like I did. Goodbye $50!
Law #6: You should try to take care of yourself.
Taking care of yourself is worth every penny. You don’t have to try to be as strong as me (kidding!), but you can start off by going for a walk every morning, eating less crap, or adding more protein to your diet.
I love writing about how you can get in shape without going broke or covering other aspects of personal fitness for a reason. I firmly stand behind taking care of yourself.
It’s easy to let work or life get in the way of taking care of yourself.
Why prepare your own food when you can just buy something at Subway?
Why go for a walk when you can watch the game?
I’m not here to tell you what to do. All I want to stress is that your 20s are the best time to take care of yourself.
Law #7: Be generous.
“The future of your organization depends on motivated human beings selflessly contributing unasked-for gifts of emotional labor.” — Seth Godin
Are you giving enough? Are you being helpful enough?
Friends always ask me why I give my best advice away for free here on Studenomics.
My answer is simple: to help you master your finances in your 20s. I know this sounds vague, but my goal is to cover every financial topic until you have more money in your bank account and less debt outstanding on your credit card. I don’t care if I don’t get directly compensated for this. I love to help others and am willing to spend more time on researching financial topics for you guys.
Being generous is important in your 20s when it comes to the little bit of money that you have and your abundance of time. Good things will happen to those that are generous and don’t always keep score.
Law #8: You must see what this world has to offer.
Have you been thinking about reading into how to travel the world? Let me guess, there’s something stopping you from leaving home. You either:
- Think you can’t afford it.
- Don’t think you have enough time.
Those are valid excuses. Yet all you have to do to overcome those barriers is click on the article a few sentences above this one.
This world has so much to offer. I used to be narrow minded and arrogant (some say I still am), until I actually left home and saw how other human beings lived on this planet. After seeing the living conditions in Mexico or the unique culture in Budapest, I learned that I have so much left to learn about this planet that I would probably have to live twice to see it all.
I’m sure that are more laws, but I’ll stop here for today.
You don’t have to learn how the stock market works in your 20s. You should however consider applying some of these golden laws to your own life. Give it a try. What do you have to lose?
Did I miss any golden rules for financial success in your 20s from this list?