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Dear 20-Somethings, If You Don’t Know These 7 Important Things About Money and Finance, You’ll Regret It in 10 Years

Dear 20-Somethings, If You Don’t Know These 7 Important Things About Money and Finance, You’ll Regret It in 10 Years

It goes without saying that your 20s come with lots of new things: new friends, new experiences, new perspectives, and new legal allowances.

As it turns out, they’re also packed with defining moments that will shape the rest of your life. And while it’s usually very difficult for young people to think about things like planning for retirement and investing in life insurance, the truth is that those AARP discounts are closer than you might think. So if you can learn these important things about money and finance now, in the future you’ll be happy that you did, and probably a lot richer too.

1. Pay Yourself First

“Don’t save what is left after spending; spend what is left after saving.” – Warren Buffett

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    While the concept of saving may be a familiar one, paying yourself first is often misunderstood. I didn’t understand the idea until I was well beyond my 20s, but I wish I had understood it sooner.

    Paying yourself first means taking a portion of your earnings and putting it into a savings account or investment that can then work to earn you more money, all while you sleep.

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    The reason why this is so important is because when you’re saving money it grows in relation to the interest it accrues, so the more money you have to save and the longer you’re saving, the more you can take advantage of this extra “free” money.

    Alternatively, by not saving you’re also losing the money that could be gained in interest. That’s why it pays to learn how to pay yourself first.

    2. Learn how to Leverage the Power of Compound Interest

    “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.” – Albert Einstein

    In his book

    The Slight Edge, Jeff Olson explains the power of compounding with a penny. A penny doubled each day for thirty-one days is greater than one million dollars today, he explains, and actually adds up to $10,737,418.24!compounding
      Photo credit Cviko Vidakovic

      Twenty-somethings have the best opportunity to take advantage of compounding because of the magic of time and the power that compounding gains as it grows. Unfortunately, many 20-somethings ignore this wealth-making practice and lose valuable opportunity in the process.

      3. Grow Your Financial Education

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        Becoming financially literate is not rocket science, though it can seem like it — especially when the majority of us are not taught financial literacy in school. But just like a higher academic education helps you advance in your career, higher financial education helps you advance in life and in what you can do. Thankfully, there’s no better time than your 20s to start the learning curve with any number of great resources.

        4. Know Your Credit Score and Keep it Up

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          In the September 2014 issue of Success Magazine, Suze Orman, the money guru herself, says that understanding your credit is key to financial health. “A FICO score will determine if a landlord will rent to you. It may determine if an employer will hire you. It determines if a telephone company will give you a phone, and it even determines what your car insurance premium happens to be.”

          As credit scores go, anything below 500 is a red flag and, just like your grades in school, it’s a lot easier to slide down than it is to bring back up, so pay attention. For additional queries and your free credit score, use CreditKarma, Credit.com, or Bankrate.

          5. Live Within Your Means

          “Do today what others won’t, so tomorrow you can do what others can’t.” – Dave Ramsey

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            In theory, if you have an income that can pay for your basic needs, you can eventually amass at least a small fortune by paying yourself first, using the power of compounding, making smart investments, and living within your means. However, most 20 somethings are still honing these practices. Not surprisingly, this is also the time when many people begin using credit cards to pay for things not necessarily within their budgets.

            Living within your means may look like skipping the movies on the weekends, trading your daily Starbucks for a homemade cup of coffee, or forfeiting that shopping spree in favor of recycling your wardrobe for a few seasons. However, when you practice this without reliance on debt, you give yourself a better chance to build a strong financial base. You might not think so now, but if you don’t put down that iced latte, you may be kicking yourself in the future.

            6. Learn to Use Discipline to Manage Income and Expenses

            “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” – Jim Rohn

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              There’s a great book that every 20 something should read called The Richest Man in Babylon. Trust me, if I had read this book in my 20s, I’m sure I’d be a millionaire by now!

              Through a series of parables the author, George Clason, relates the common experiences of poor money managers and outlines disciplines that lead to lifelong riches and wealth.

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              So imperative to financial health are the disciplines of managing income and expenses that these lessons serve as the foundation of the entire book. Unsurprisingly, failure to have a financial plan with these in mind is the number one regret of people when they reach retirement. Luckily for you if you’re in your 20s, it doesn’t have to be yours.

              7. Learn to Manage Your Emotions Around Money

              “In the world of money and investing, you must learn to control your emotions. High emotions equal low intelligence.” – Robert Kiyosaki

              There’s no denying that having money (or not having it) comes with a lot of emotion. When we have it we’re happy (and often irrational), and when we don’t we’re sad. With each emotion come behaviors that can make or break our financial stability for the future. Many a divorce, bankruptcy, and heart attack have been attributed to the stress that people feel around money that could have easily been avoided.

              Learning to manage your emotions with money is not only a good idea, it’s the thing that will help you to successfully navigate your way through the thousands of financial decisions you’ll need to make throughout your life, so it stands to reason that the better you can do this, the more money you’ll keep.

              While it may be easier said than done, there are always resources that can help you identify your level of emotional intelligence around money and work to improve it at the same time.

              Your twenties are a mixed bag full of fun experiences and new opportunities for growth. But if you can find a way to incorporate the seven practices above, you’ll not only thank yourself later, but even be able to afford to buy yourself an expensive treat!

              Noize Photography via photopin cc

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              Last Updated on July 4, 2019

              25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education

              25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education

              Whether you’re five or ninety five, the internet has a lot to offer. Particularly when the topic is education, the resources on the internet are endless.

              Best of all, many high quality sites are completely free. From history to coding, excellent free online education awaits on the following 25 sites.

              1. Coursera

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                Coursera is a website that partners with universities and organizations around the world. This brings a wide variety of topics and perspectives to one searchable database.

                Coursera is a powerful tool for free online education, and includes courses from many top universities, museums and trusts. This gives the site an extremely wide range of in-depth courses.

                Coursera is extremely useful if you’re looking to study many different topics, or want courses from different schools and groups.

                2. Khan Academy

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                  Partnering with many post secondary schools, Khan Academy offers a useable, well organized interface. Also curating many courses from around the web, Khan Academy offers impressive depth on many different subjects.

                  Among the more well known educational sites, Khan Academy is also incredibly useable, which may make it easier to keep learning goals.

                  3. Open Culture Online Courses

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                    If you are struggling to find exactly the material you are looking for, try Open Culture’s listing of free online education courses. The page highlights 1000 lectures, videos and podcasts from universities around the world. The site features a lot of material found only on universities private sites, all in easy to browse categories. This means you can find hundreds of university courses, without having to visit and search each university’s own site.

                    Open Culture’s list features courses from England, Australia, Wales and many state universities around the United States. A very helpful resource for finding many courses in one area of study.

                    4. Udemy 

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                      Udemy’s free courses are similar in concept to Coursera’s but additionally allows users to build custom courses from lessons.

                      Working with many top professors and schools, the site mixes the customizable platform of other sites with a heavy emphasis on top quality content. This is another site however, that mixes free and paid content.

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                      5. Academic Earth

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                        Another site with courses from many different schools is Academic Earth. Much like the three sites above, Academic Earth brings together top notch courses from many different sources, and focuses on offering a wide variety of subjects.

                        Academic Earth lists courses by subject and school, so it might be easier to find what you’re looking for.

                        6. edX

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                          Another great option for free online education is edX. Also bringing together courses from many different schools, the site has impressive, quality information for everyone. edX covers a great range of topics.

                          7. Alison

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                            Unlike the previous sites on this lists, Alison is a free education site offering certification in some areas. Alison offers courses mainly in business, technology, and health, but also includes language learning courses.

                            It’s a great option if users need certification for their learning as Alison also offers school curriculum courses.

                            8. iTunesU Free Courses

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                              A very convenient place for free online education is iTunesU, because it integrates seamlessly with your iPod, or any app-ready Apple mobile device. On iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, users download the iTunesU app.

                              Desktop users can access  iTunesU on the upper right hand corner of the iTunes Store. iTunesU is also convenient because the store is categorized much like iTunes.

                              Users can search learning materials in many different ways, including genre and topic. However, courses are often a mix of free podcasts or videos, and paid content.

                              ITunesU does include courses on a pretty wide scope of topics, but does not integrate with Android, Google or Windows mobile devices.

                              9. Stanford Online

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                                Your hub for all the online offerings from Stanford University, Stanford Online offers self-paced and session based courses. While Coursera features some courses from Stanford, many classes are only available via other hosts. Some courses require iTunes, but most are completed in your web browser.

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                                Stanford Online is a great site for high quality courses, though the topics are somewhat limited compared to sites partnered with more than one school.

                                10. Harvard Extension

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                                  Like Stanford Online, Harvard Extension features free online education courses from Harvard only. This is another excellent source for top notch course material, though the course variety is less rich than multi-school sites.

                                  Additionally, Harvard Extension allows you to search for courses by professional certificate. This makes it much easier if your online education goal includes certification.

                                  11. Open Yale Courses

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                                    Open Yale Courses echoes Harvard Extension and Stanford Online, in that it offers only courses from Yale. While the site is similarly limited to topics taught at the school, Open Yale Courses offers a lot of videos of actual campus lectures. The availability of videos makes the site a great option if you’re looking for quality courses, but learn better by watching than by reading.

                                    12. UC Berkeley Class Central

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                                      Much like the other schools on this list, UC Berkeley has a variety of free online education options. The school has slightly fewer courses than the schools above, but includes some supplementary lectures, webcasts and RSS Feeds, making it easy to keep up with the topics you choose.

                                      13. MIT OpenCourseWare

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                                        Similarly, MIT offers a variety of free courses. The school has a comparable number of courses to the schools above, plus includes very in-depth course materials on the subjects available. MIT also offers free RSS feeds, a convenient way to continue learning.

                                        14. Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative

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                                          Carnegie Mellon’s free online education site is comparable with the other school’s on this list, however, Open Learning Initiative also covers a smaller range of topics. But for the topics that are covered impressive, in-depth material is available.

                                          15. Codecademy

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                                            Codecademy is a website dedicated specifically to teaching coding. Where other coding sites follow an example/practice session workflow, Codecademy includes a live practice window. This means you can practice coding while still viewing the lesson material.

                                            The courses at Codecademy are well written and easy to follow and the website is organized very nicely. Codecademy features a centralized dashboard where you can monitor your progress, plus organizes lessons into complete modules. This lets you learn an entire language without needing to pick the next course manually.

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                                            16. Code

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                                              Code is another website focused on coding and app writing. A site with high quality courses, Code also features learning options for kids.

                                              In addition to kid friendly courses, Code offers free online education classes on a wide variety of technology topics. These classes include app writing, robotics and Javascript.

                                              Most of the courses are also geared in a such a way that they can be useful in a classroom setting. This makes Code a great resource for harder to find coding topics, as well as various learning settings.

                                              17. University of London Podcasts

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                                                The podcast page on the University of London website is another great source for free education. While the courses are limited to podcasts, the site features podcasts from it’s own campus, as well as eleven universities in and around London. This gives learners a wide base of topics and lectures, but still ensures in-depth material.

                                                18. University of Oxford Podcasts

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                                                  Similar to the University of London, the University of Oxford features many different podcasts. Most are public lecture series or lectures from visiting professors, with several different recordings available.

                                                  The advantage to this particular site is that podcasts are organized into series, making it easy to subscribe to multiple lectures on one topic. Another good site for thoroughly in-depth lectures.

                                                  19. BBC Podcasts

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                                                    For the more casual learner, the BBC offers a wide variety of podcasts on many different topics. Most podcasts are updated weekly, and focus on everything from finance, to sports, to current events.

                                                    Through the World Service line of podcasts, there are also many in different languages. The focus of these podcasts are less in-depth and theory based, which may be more accessible to the average person.

                                                    20. TED-Ed

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                                                      Another great destination for more general learning is TED-Ed. From the same people that brought you the all encompassing, motivational web series, comes a site chocked full of educational videos. Most include impressive animation, and all are ten minutes long or less.

                                                      Not only is TED-Ed an excellent site for the curious, it also includes supplemental materials and quizzes on the videos. This makes the site extremely useful in formal education settings, as well as in entertaining ways to brush up on new discoveries and topics.

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                                                      21. LessonPaths

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                                                        LessonPaths is another great tool for those looking for a more usable and convenient way to access learning material. On this site, users create link playlists of their favorite learning materials from other sites. Users then rank these collections, making it easy to find many different high quality, accessible sources on a given topic.

                                                        22. Memrise

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                                                          Another impressive free online education site offering ease of use and convenience is Memrise. Available both on desktop and as an app, Memrise is a particularly powerful tool if you are studying a language. The site encompasses many other topics as well, though some of the course material is user generated content.

                                                          Part of what makes Memrise special is their integration of games into the learning materials, mixing learning with entertainment.

                                                          23. National Geographic Kids

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                                                            The kids site for National Geographic is another site that makes free online education applicable for younger users. For those looking for kid friendly education, a large variety of games, puzzles, videos and photos keeps kids interested on this site.

                                                            National Geographic Kids doesn’t organize learning into courses, making materials available by topic and medium instead. This makes National Geographic Kids a good option for those looking for a more casual learning environment.

                                                            24. Fun Brain

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                                                              Fun Brain is another good option for kids who want to learn online, but focuses on games and fun puzzles. Particularly focused on math and reading, Fun Brain’s game based approach can be valuable if the child in question struggles to pay attention.

                                                              Fun Brain offers rewards and challenges as well, and is another site aimed at a casual learning experience for kids K-8.

                                                              25. Whyville

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                                                                Similar to the sites for kids free online education is Whyville a destination for preteen online learning. The site includes a variety of social features, with a focus on learning materials geared for young teens.

                                                                Whyville also mixes in educational games, to make the site a well rounded option for kids too old for simple games, but too young for heavy reading based material.

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                                                                Featured photo credit: Dai KE via unsplash.com

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